Dr. Klimas’ New Opportunity
Stating that she was offered ‘an opportunity of a lifetime’, Dr. Klimas announced she was moving to Nova Southeastern to create an Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine in December of last year. NSU had made her an offer – a commitment to build a framework for success that integrating research, treatment and education – she couldn’t refuse.
Recently I asked her how, after a year, it was going and she said she was ‘thrilled’ at Nova’s commitment to her work stating
“Who knew that the support of the institution could make such a great difference! No regrets for my move, I am very happy with the transition.”
She’s recruiting a senior clinical scientist to fill a donor endowed fellowship, is wooing a systems biologist and is looking an animal modeler’s way. (Animal modeling plays a integral role in much disease research; having an animal for ME/CFS would enable research to progress much more quickly.
With no less 13 studies on her projects board (four of them fully enrolled and underway) Dr. Klimas, as usual, is busy and engaged. Somehow both of the DOD Gulf War illness consortium grants Dr. Klimas helped to develop were funded and she is working out an agreement to get that work shifted to the Nova Southeastern sites.
Dr. Klimas, of course, partnered with the Chronic Fatigue Illness Initiative on their big pathogen study. She reported that patient recruitment is done and they’re concentrating on analyzing their samples with that state of art technology. Talk about a consequential study.
Her Miami clinic has doubled in size and a new clinic is opening up in Fort Lauderdale this month.
Now she’s celebrating a year of organization, work and accomplishment with a kickoff event sponsored by Nova Southeastern on the 26th.
CFS/ME and Gulf War Illness: A Celebration of Hope and Progress
Titled CFS/ME and Gulf War Illness 2013 – A Celebration of Hope and Progress, Dr. Klimas’s first public conference will place on Jan 26th in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. It’s got a hot lineup featuring Dr. Peterson, Dr. Broderick, Dr. Mady Hornig and Scott Carlson of the Chronic Fatigue Initiative (CFI), Dr. Levine and some military brass (Gulf War Illness) . Expect to hear some interesting news to come out of the day..
Let’s check out who’s speaking and on what in nice, warm Southern Florida (it could be in the 80’s :)) on the 26th
Mady Hornig, MD – ‘The Role of Pathogens in Autoimmunity and Chronic Illness’
The lead researcher in the Chronic Fatigue Initiatives big pathogen study will speak on ‘The Role of Pathogens in Autoimmunity and Chronic Illness’. Dr. Hornig topic – autoimmunity – is intriguing given that only one of her 50 plus studies have been on autoimmune issues, which of course, makes one wonder if we’ll be hearing some insights into that aspect of ME/CFS.
Dr Hornig has done research in another very complex disorder, autism, and her bornavirus research indicated that virus did not play a role in schizophrenia and major depression – as had been conjectured. She’s also, interestingly enough, done research on the same toll-like receptor Ampligen effects.
Given her work on the CFI’s pathogen study it’ll be interesting indeed to hear her speak on the ties between pathogen and chronic illnesses.
Connie Sol MS – ‘Reconditioning Safely’
Dr. Klimas’ exercise physiologist will speak on ‘reconditioning safely’. Measuring aerobic capacity has played a major role in Dr. Klimas clinical practice and in her research efforts. Dr. Unger of the CDC recently visited Dr. Klimas’s clinic to learned about the role exercise physiology plays in her work and was reportedly impressed. Check out an open discussion Dr. Klimas and Connie Sol will have with the CDC on the January 14th from 3-4pm EST. Call this number 800-619-4306 and use this Participant Code: 6023819 to listen in.
Gordon Broderick, PhD – ‘Modeling Complex Illness for Treatment Targets
A frequent research collaborator of Dr. Klimas’s, Dr. Broderick will speak on ‘Modeling Complex Illness for Treatment Targets’. Dr. Broderick uses large databases involving multiple systems of the body and complex calculations to flush out results. His cutting-edge techniques aren’t entirely understood or accepted by everyone but his talk suggests he’s beginning to hone in on very specific treatment targets. High levels of molecules or compounds, for instance, building up in up our systems could conceivably adjusted downward with drugs. Hopefully we’ll hear more about the specific targets and possibly future treatment options in his talk.
Dan Peterson, MD – Latest Interventions in Trial
Besides his extensive ME/CFS clinical background dating back over 25 years, Dr. Peterson has recently worked on research studies with the Chronic Fatigue Initiative, Dr. Jay Levy, Dr. Ian Lipkin, the PHANU group in Australia and with the Open Medicine Institute. Dr. Peterson created the Simmaron Foundation to support research into ME/CFS and related neuro-immune conditions in late 2010.
A good part of this conference will be about going from ‘the bench to the bedside’; ie from translating research findings and insights into new treatment options and that’s what Dr. Peterson appears to be talking about in his Dr. Latest Interventions in Trial’ talk. As that work starts to unfold its truly worth a celebration.
Delores Perdoma, PhD
Will speak on Chronic Illness and Marriage.
Voices of Recovery and Hope Panel Discussion
A Panel discussion called Voices of Recovery and Hope will involve a panel of CFS/ME and GWI patients discussing ways they’ve improved.
That’s a big lineup for one day and there’s a reception afterwards…Tickets are $25, and, of course, go to support the Institutes work. Dan Moricoli of the CFS Knowledge Center will be videotaping the proceedings for further dissemination.
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Just in…the Complete Agenda
9:00 registration, coffee/tea, set up sponsor and advocacy tables
9:30 Welcome and Introducing the INIM Anthony Silvagni, DO PharmD, Dean NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine
9:45 INIM’s Big Plan: finding Effective Therapy for GWI , CFS/ME and Complex Medical Illnesses Nancy Klimas, Director INIM , Chair Clinical Immunology and Professor of Medicine, NSU COM
10:15 Voices of Hope: Patients with GWI, CFS/ME with stories of recovery
Current Strategies in Treatment
11:00 The basics: treating CFS/ME and GWI Irma, Rey, MD, Director of Medical Education INIM , COM, NSU
11:30 Understanding your limits, a key to restoring fitness Connie Sol, MA Exercise Physiologist, INIM COM, NSU
12:00 The Important Role Family and partners Play in Coping with Chronic illness Delores Perdomo, PhD , LCSW University of Miami
12:30 lunch – seating in interest groups (e.g.: teens, men with CFS/ME, spouses, etc)
Models that Lead to Treatment
1:30 Introducing the new GWI Consortium Gordon Broderick, Mary Ann Fletcher:
2:00 Infection, Autoimmunity and Illness Mady Hornig, MD Columbia University, Principle Investigator, Pathogen Discovery Project, sponsored by the Chronic Fatigue Initiative.
2:30 New Understandings, New Treatments Dan Peterson, MD
3:15 Leading Yourself to a Healthier YOU! Lynn Lafferty, Pharm D, Director COM Alternative Medicine Program, and Rebecca Halstead, fmr Brigadier General , US Army
3:45 Panel Discussion: Is the Future Bright? The Direction of Research and Care Sue Levine, MD, Director Levine Clinic, NYC, Chair ( All Speakers)
4:30 Closing Remarks Kathy Assaf, Chair INIM Development Committee,
5:00 Tour and refreshments, NSU COM Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine