Journal of IiME Volume 2 Issue 1 www.investinme.org PROFILES of PRESENTERS at the IiME INTERNATIONAL ME/CFS CONFERENCE Dr. Jonathan Kerr Jonathan Kerr qualified in medicine from Queen’s University of Belfast (1987), and completed training as a medical microbiologist (1995). He has worked as a microbiologist in Belfast, Manchester and London, taking up post as a Consultant Senior Lecturer in Microbiology at Royal Brompton Hospital / Imperial College in June 2001, and then Sir Joseph Hotung Clinical Senior Lecturer in Inflammation at St George’s University of London in 2005. His interest in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) began during a study of the consequences of parvovirus B19 infection, when he showed that a percentage of infected cases developed CFS which persisted for several years. He is now the principal investigator in a programme of research in CFS. This involves development of a diagnostic test using mass spectrometry, analysis of human and viral gene expression in the white blood cells, and clinical trials of immunomodulatory drugs. Dr. Jonathan Kerr and colleagues at St. George’s University of London reported in the July 27, 2005 issue of the Journal of Clinical Pathology that a preliminary study of 25 CFS patients and 25 matched healthy controls revealed abnormalities in 35 of 9,522 genes analyzed using microarray technology. Polymerase chain reaction studies showed the same results for 16 of these genes. Dr. Kerr has recently defined seven genomic subtypes of CFS based on 88 genes that are expressed differently in CFS patients than they are in normal controls. The study, and its results, raises some important questions. The first of which pertains to the need for funding of microbiological CFS research. He is funded (>£1million) by the CFS Research Foundation (www.cfsrf.com), a charitable organization based in the U.K., and leads a group of 5 scientists at St George's. C Coonnffeerreennccee PPrreesseennttaatt iioonn G Geennee EExxpprreessssiioonn iinn MMEE//CCFFSS:: aa MMeeaannss ooff SSuubbttyyppiinngg Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is a multisystem disease, the pathogenesis of which remains undetermined. We set out to determine the precise abnormalities of gene expression that occur in blood of CFS/ME patients. We analysed gene expression in peripheral blood from 25 CFS/ME patients diagnosed according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) diagnostic criteria and 50 normal blood donors using the Affymetrix U133+2 microarray using a cut-off fold-difference of expression ≥2.5. Genes showing differential expression were further analysed using quantitative PCR in 55 CFS/ME patients and 75 normal blood donors. Differential expression was confirmed for 88 genes, 85 of which were upregulated and 3 downregulated. Highly represented functions were haematological disease and function, immunological disease and function, cancer, cell death, immune response and infection. Clustering of QPCR data from CFS/ME patients revealed 7 subtypes with distinct differences in SF-36 scores, clinical phenotypes and severity. Additional links for Dr Kerr: • Jonathan Kerr, Seven genomic subtypes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME): a detailed analysis of gene networks and clinical phenotypes. J Clin Pathol. 2007 Dec 5. ub ahead of print] PMID: 18057078 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] Invest in ME (Charity Nr 1114035) Page 12

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