Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
"I think the microbiome is going to be where the action is [in ME/CFS]... I am really eager to pursue that work." Ian Lipkin
It apparently took three tries but Ian Lipkin's perseverance finally paid off. On Aug 14th he and Mady Hornig were awarded a $766,000 grant to study the gut microbiome in ME/CFS. The grant runs for one year. Dr. KLimas recently said, if I remember correctly, that she oversaw the grant applications for the last SEP. She had been on at least one SEP several years before - and reported then that she was disappointed by the lack of applications. This time, however, she said she was pleased at the applications that came in. (It's not clear if she was on the panel that pushed forward Lipkin's grant application.)
The project will examine bacterial, fungal and viral microflora in the throat, lower intestinal tract and blood using state-of-the-art methods for microbial surveillance and discovery. It includes six ME/CFS experts. The grant states:
This project will test the hypothesis that CFS cases and controls differ with respect to bacterial, fungal or viral microflora in the oropharynx, lower gastrointestinal tract and blood in a well-powered study, using rigorously characterized cases and controls and state-of-the-art methods for microbial surveillance and discovery. Our proposal builds on the foundation established during the NIAID CFS multicenter study of XMRV/pMLV. It includes the expert clinicians who led work at the original six sites, thereby ensuring credibility within the scientific and CFS patient and advocacy communities and access to a network within which follow-up studies and translational research can be readily pursued. The laboratory team has extensive experience in infectious disease epidemiology, microbial discovery and de-discovery, as well as in the development of serological assays and animal models needed to test for causal relationships and investigate pathogenetic mechanisms.
Lipkin has said that Fauci would like to fund more ME/CFS research and it turned out that it was Fauci's institute: the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) that funded the grant. It was approved by the CFS Special Emphasis Panel.
With the $750,000 reportedly raised by the Microbiome crowdfunding effort Lipkin and Hornig now have $1.5 million to pursue their long desired project of microbiome discovery.
The SEP panel has approved several other ME/CFS grants - those will be reviewed next