SEP 08, 2016 9:00 AM PDT

Keynote Speaker: The Gut Microbiome in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, A Neuroimmune Disease

  • Professor, Cornell University
      Maureen R. Hanson is Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She received a B.S. degree at Duke University and a Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Harvard University. After completing an NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard, she joined the faculty of the Biology Department at University of Virginia before moving to Cornell. She presently has a diverse research program involving gene expression and intracellular organelles in plants and humans. She has a special interest in the pathophysiology of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.


    ME/CFS is a debilitating disease with a controversial history and multiple names.  The Institute of Medicine recently recommended renaming the disease “Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID),” based on its hallmark symptom, an inability to increase physical and mental activity beyond a steady-state level without negative consequences.  Patients report a profound lack of energy, not an ordinary type of fatigue.  Characteristics of the disease will be reviewed along with current information regarding diagnostic criteria.
    Many ME/CFS/SEID patients report gastrointestinal as well as inflammatory symptoms.  Because the gut microbiome has been observed to be abnormal in inflammatory and metabolic diseases, we examined the bacterial microbiome and blood markers of microbial translocation in a cohort of patients and controls.  This presentation will describe our findings and their relevance to the current view of the disease and its underlying pathophysiology.
    Learning objective 1: Understand the current diagnostic and clinical criteria for ME/CFS/SEID
    Learning objective 2: Understand why levels of lipopolysaccharide and certain proteins are thought to be related to bacterial translocation and inflammation
    Learning objective 3:  Learn how the gut microbiomes of ME/CFS/SEID patients differ from those of healthy controls

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