On June 14, Derya Unutmaz gave a seminar talk for the Jackson Laboratory’s new speaker series, JAXtaposition: Cures Can’t Wait. The series, which is open to the public and features TED-style talks from faculty and senior leadership on the cutting-edge programs and research at JAX, focuses on a variety of important health topics, including cancer, addiction, and rare diseases, among others. Derya’s talk centered on the topic of chronic illness, and was focused specifically on ME/CFS.
In an article written about the event, Maggie Moore outlines Derya’s research plans for figuring out what causes the disease, and quotes him as saying, “we’re sequencing thousands of species of bacteria. We’re determining hundreds of different populations of immune cells in the same person. We’re also analyzing their metabolism and thousands of different metabolites in their blood. We’re trying to put the patient’s biology back together.” Derya believes in the importance of treating the patient rather than the disease, and says that in the context of understanding overall health, researchers are realizing that instead of keeping each of the body’s systems separated into unique areas of interest, we should integrate all of these systems back together to see the whole picture.