Happy New Year from everyone here at the JAX ME/CFS CRC! The COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 a year unlike any other in recent history. This year has tested us all beyond measure, but has also demonstrated the interconnectedness of our world. We look forward to the coming year for generating novel findings about ME/CFS, as well as how COVID-19 is connected to this devastating disease.
In the third year of research at the ME/CFS Center at JAX, our study was halted temporarily due to COVID-19, and we took a several month break from receiving samples from individuals with ME/CFS and healthy controls from our clinical partners at the Bateman Horne Center. We started receiving samples again in July 2020, and to date we have collected both blood and stool samples for all of time point 1, and the majority of time point 2. We have also begun collecting time point 3 samples from subjects recruited early in the study. We have processed all of these biological samples for immune profiling, microbiome, and metabolism data analysis for biomarker discovery in our labs. We have recently made some exciting changes to our immune profiling panels to add additional analyses, and have begun our immune profiling experiments on our samples. Our collaborations with the Cornell and Columbia ME/CFS Centers are also running at full speed, and we are hoping to begin an additional collaboration soon with the Bateman Horne Center to collect samples from patients who previously had COVID-19, and have since been experiencing ME/CFS-like symptoms, or “long-COVID.”
As we ramp our studies back up, we are even more hopeful now that our progress will continue to accelerate into 2021 and bring many new ideas and inspiration. 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 hope!
Have a wonderful New Year, and see you in 2021!
– the JAX ME/CFS team, Derya Unutmaz, and Courtney Gunter