Because of the investment of many supporters – donors large and small – the Bateman Horne Center (BHC) has been able to partner with cutting-edge researchers across the globe. BHC works directly with researchers to enroll well-categorized patients into their research, providing samples with material transfer agreements in place so that we continue to learn from these research results well beyond the initial study. Our network is growing with more scientists than ever expressing an interest in working with the Bateman Horne Center because of our Biomarker Discovery Research Program and the incredibly high quality of the patient samples we provide.
The financial support of donors has been an essential element in helping us grow our Research Ready Army to 300 strong! In 2016 alone 180 ME/CFS patients and 80 healthy controls were enrolled into our Biomarker Discovery Research Program. Our Reseach Ready Army are the ME/CFS patients and healthy controls that come to the Batemen Horne Center for clinical evaluation, provide blood samples and answer survey questions – everything that is necessary to provide the research community with high-quality annotated samples to accelerate biomarker discovery.
Here is a summary of the scientists we partnered with in 2016:
- Derya Unutmaz, Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine. Dr. Unutmaz was “recruited” into ME/CFS research 2 years ago by Dr. Vernon. The preliminary research they conducted together paid off and in January 2016 Dr. Unutmaz was awarded a $3M grant from the NIH with the goal of generating a detailed functional and genetic immunological framework that can be used to decode the mechanisms of ME/CFS and to develop robust, quantitative immune-biomarker sets for predicting disease susceptibility, stratifying patients and guiding treatment strategies. Drs. Bateman and Vernon are co-Investigators on this grant providing all the patient and control samples from our Research Ready Army.
- Isabel Barao, University of Nevado, Reno. She is studying genetic factors that weaken the immune response in ME/CFS by studying families that have members afflicted with the disease. The genetic testing is complete and the data is currently being analyzed and prepared for publication. Dr. Barao is also using the results from this study to apply for a larger grant from NIH. We will share the final results with you once the work has been published.
- Professors Yosky Kataoka and Yasuyoshi Watanabe, RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, Kobe Japan. This team reported on neuroinflammation in 2014 and is now studying how metabolic disturbances influence neuroinflammation in ME/CFS. This summer they published one of the first papers showing metabolic disturbances in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) and urea cycles in ME/CFS patients. The Bateman Horne Center sent blood samples from our Research Ready Army for the RIKEN team to validate their results.
- Micheal Houghton, University of Alberta. Dr. Houghton’s team is attempting to validate cytokine biomarkers that can be used to diagnose ME/CFS. Their original results were published in the journal Cytokine in a paper titled, “Reductions in circulating levels of IL-16, IL-7 and VEGF-A in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome”. The Bateman Horne Center sent Houghton’s team 100 blood samples so they can attempt to validate these cytokine profiles. In addition, Houghton will share a portion of the blood with one of the leading metabolism scientists in the world in an attempt to replicate the work of the RIKEN team.
- Kathy and Alan Light, University of Utah. The Light team have worked with Dr. Lucinda Bateman for several years to understand the peripheral processes involved in sensing muscle fatigue and pain and to use these biomarkers to develop blood-based diagnostics for ME/CFS. The Bateman Horne Center has provided the Light’s with blood samples to examine autoimmune and genetic markers that may be involved in ME/CFS pathophysiology.
- In addition to all of this important ME/CFS research, the Bateman Horne Center continues to collaborate with a number of researchers in the field of Fibromyalgia, enrolling FM patients needed to ensure the success of their efforts.
As we look ahead to 2017 and beyond, we will continue to grow our Research Ready Army and promote our Biomarker Discovery Research Program. In addition, we are developing a group of patients from across the globe that have expressed an interest in research participation. We hope to begin communicating with them not only about BHC research, but other research opportunities they may be interested in participating in. Our goal in this effort is to increase patient participation across the board, so that all research has the patient participants needed to be successful.
BHC is not only a tremendous partner to cutting-edge researchers, but we are implementing our own ground breaking research in our new Bateman Horne Center facility.
- Developing and standardizing the Institute of Medicine diagnostic criteria so that doctors around the country can do the same.
- Developing a protocol with to standardize a method called the NASA Lean Test so that doctors can assess orthostatic intolerance in ME/CFS patients.
- Partnering with innovators to use wearable devices and cutting edge software to objectively measure ME/CFS and FM symptoms and sharing this approach with doctors and researchers.
We are dedicated to the identification and diagnosis of patients, to bringing well-qualified patients into cutting-edge research, and to the swift advance of progress. The tremendous support of many has allowed us to move closer to that goal. With your continued support we believe we can make first-class care the standard for those experiencing ME/CFS and FM, not the exception.