+100%- “I think that the microbiome is going to be where the action is [in ME/CFS]” – Ian Lipkin

What do the Director of the NIH, Francis Collins PhD, the P2P Panel,  and Ian Lipkin MD, virus hunter extraordinaire, all have in common? They all believe studying the microbiome living in our guts is a high priority.


Lipkin’s doing all sorts of projects on ME/CFS but the gut project is the one that comes up again and again

The list of projects Lipkin, Hornig, and the Chronic Fatigue Initiative are working on is long. It includes looking for viruses in white blood cells, doing gene expression studies, measuring immune factors in the blood and doing proteomic and metabolomics studies, but the study Lipkin and Hornig keep circling back to is the microbiome one.

Why? They think compounds produced by the gut may very well be spreading through the blood and into the brain and causing “all sorts of curious diseases”, and that includes ME/CFS.

Lipkin is so eager to dig into ME/CFS patients’ guts that he’s applied twice for NIH grants (only to be rejected both times, for different reasons).

Every bit helps

Every bit helps

The man is nothing if not persistent, though. This busy, busy virologist is continuing to speak out on behalf of studying ME/CFS.  He’s got Director Collins pushing ME/CFS microbiome studies.  Despite the lack of research studies done on the gut thus far, his partner Mady Hornig got the P2P panel to shortlist the microbiome as a priority project. (Now, that’s persuasion!)

If Lipkin and Hornig haven’t gotten the big NIH grant they and we want, they have another ace in the hole – the Microbe Discovery Project, which means “us”.  Created by people with ME/CFS, the Microbe Discovery Project to crowd-fund Lipkin and Hornig’s gut work has raised about $160,000 from over 1,000 donors.

Let’s get them to $200,000 this holiday season and give the top viral disease hunter in the world, Ian Lipkin, the ability to dig just as deep into the guts of ME/CFS patients as he can. Who knows?  The answer could lie there.

Learn more about the Microbe Discovery Project here.  Make it a good Christmas for ME/CFS, and a bad Christmas for the microbes that are  perhaps at the heart of ME/CFS by supporting the

 Microbe Discovery Project

Check  out an appeal sent out by Ian Lipkin and Mady Hornig below

Ian Lipkin and Mady Hornig on the Microbe Discovery Project

December 12, 2014

“We never lost focus on our commitment to continue to make breakthroughs in the area of ME/CFS research.” – Ian Lipkin and Mady Hornig

Dear Friends:

DrLipkinFront-150x150It’s been nearly a year since the Microbe Discovery team launched the ME/CFS microbiome crowdfunding campaign. To date, more than $153,000 has been raised from nearly 1000 donations in 25 countries. We want to take this opportunity to thank our supporters for all your fundraising efforts, donations and general support and encouragement. And we’d like to especially thank the crowdfund team for their hard work, creativity, and financial support.

It’s been a productive year for the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII). While our research on emerging infectious disease outbreaks such as MERS and Ebola was particularly demanding, we never lost focus on our commitment to continue to make breakthroughs in the area of ME/CFS research.

With the ongoing collaborative support from the Chronic Fatigue Initiative, Simmaron Research, and Edward P. Evans Foundation, our research team has recently discovered differences in markers of immunity and metabolism in ME/CFS that may relate to disturbances in the gut microbiome. Details will be published in 2015. We look forward to sharing these findings with the ME/CFS community.

We presented our work at numerous worldwide conferences including:

  •  IACFS/ME Scientific Conference in San Francisco, CA in March
  •  9th Invest in ME Research International ME Conference 2014: Synergizing Research into ME in the UK in May
  •  ME/CFS Research Collaborative Scientific Conference in the UK in September
  •  National Action Center for CFS/ME in Oslo, Norway in November
  •  NIH Pathways to Prevention Workshop: Advancing the Research on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Bethesda, MD in December

Could next year be the year we discover the microbes causing so distress in ME/CFS?

We continue to raise awareness for our cause in the media and were thrilled that Buzzfeed and Columbia University highlighted our work and community partnership. We wish to thank Phoenix Rising, Cort Johnson of Health Rising, and Simon McGrath for the invaluable support and continual coverage of our research efforts.

Thank you again for your generous, ongoing support. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.

With our deepest appreciation,

W. Ian Lipkin, MD     Mady Hornig, MD

Support the Microbe Discovery Project here.


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