Recently, the Accelerating Research on ME/CFS Meeting was hosted by the NIH in Bethesda, MD on April 4th and 5th, 2019. In addition to the two-day conference, the NIH also hosted a meeting on April 3rd, called Thinking the Future, which was a workshop designed for young/early career ME/CFS investigators to learn key networking and grant writing skills, and give presentations on their own ME/CFS research ideas. The overall goal of the three-day event was to bring researchers together to share their latest results, with the intention of driving the ME/CFS research field forward by identifying gaps and opportunities through presentations of newer research by experts as well as newcomers to the field.
On HealthRising.org, Cort Johnson provides a highly detailed review of the conference in two articles about the two days of the meeting, where he outlines the major findings of each of the speakers’ presentations, and his critical interpretations of them. Johnson also provides excellent coverage of the talks given by JAX researchers Dr. Derya Unutmaz and Dr. Julia Oh, and concludes that, “the Unumatz/Oh team has gone beyond the exploration phase; i.e., they have a pathway. They have a T-cell their research indicates may be a major player, they’re determining which bacterial species and even strains may be triggering the production of that T-cell, and if they can identify those, they’ll have a shot at turning MAIT cells down. If they are right, reducing the immune activation that so many people believe is driving this illness, may be the key.”