Happy Holidays and New Year!


Happy Holidays from everyone here at the JAX ME/CFS CRC! We believe 2018 has been a landmark year for pushing forward with advances in #MECFS research. We are very excited about the progress that has been made, and look forward to the next year for generating novel findings and collaborations with the other Centers and scientists.

We are especially thankful for the community’s unwavering participation and support of our scientific endeavors over this past year. In the first year of research at the ME/CFS Center at JAX, we have actively worked with our clinical partners at Bateman Horne Center to recruit individuals with ME/CFS and healthy controls, and to date we have collected both blood and stool samples from dozens of patients who were recruited to the study. We have processed all of these biological samples for immune profiling, microbiome, and metabolism data analysis for biomarker discovery in our labs, which has been a labor of love and passion! Our collaborations with the Cornell and Columbia ME/CFS Centers are also running at full speed. We are working on the same set of samples across the three sites and contributing our respective strengths to our studies, and we believe that this will generate the most comprehensive biological dataset to date on ME/CFS patient samples.

We are even more hopeful now that our progress will continue to accelerate into 2019 and bring many new ideas and inspiration, as well as a promise for a brighter tomorrow for all those who are suffering from this terrible disease. We wish that all of the ME/CFS community and their loved ones be blessed with laughter, peace, and love. May the magic and the wonder of the holiday season stay with you throughout the coming year, and the New Year bring you new achievements, joy, and maintain your hope, because failure is not an option!

Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!
– the JAX ME/CFS team, Derya Unutmaz, and Courtney Gunter

Microbial Growth Rate and its Potential Link to Human Disease

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 3.30.16 PM
Julia Oh, source: jax.org

It’s possible to use metagenomic shotgun sequencing to look at complex microbial communities and see what types of microbes are present there, as well as their functions. However, sequencing does not give information about how quickly different species of bacteria within the community are growing. Microbial growth rates change based on different environmental conditions, give information about which microbes may be active contributors to community phenotypes, and can even be associated with multiple disease characteristics, so this information would be highly useful for assessing the effect of different microbes on human health. However, existing techniques to determine microbial growth rates have been difficult to utilize, and have important limitations.

Continue reading “Microbial Growth Rate and its Potential Link to Human Disease”

BHC Blog Post: Bateman Horne Center’s Journey

Source: Bateman Horne Center

Last week, our clinical core at Bateman Horne Center (BHC) posted an update on their blog about the progress that their clinic has made over the past four years. BHC is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to treating ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia patients. They are also focusing on becoming a Center of Excellence, where in addition to offering on-site care to patients, they also have a clinical research team, participate in community outreach, and offer educational and other social services.

BHC recently added two new physicians to their team, and are therefore able to further increase their capacity for treating and researching ME/CFS. The blog post introduces the new physicians and gives information about their backgrounds. It also outlines BHC’s new goal for 2019, which is to raise funds to launch Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), which will provide tele-medicine services to support community-based physicians.

To read the blog post and watch a video about BHC’s journey on their website, click here.