Journal of IiME Volume 4 Issue 1 www.investinme.org SPEAKERS and ABSTRACTS of the 5th INVEST in ME INTERNATIONAL ME/CFS CONFERENCE fibromyalgia. In addition, Annette and Harvey have contributed over one million dollars and pledged another four million dollars in support of the building and programming to bring this project to fruition. As the Founder and President, Annette supports the basic and clinical research programs, recruitment of physicians and support personnel, while also leading fundraising activities. Researchers at the University of Nevada Medical School have also become collaborators on projects that are vital to our understanding of the immune deficits seen in these patients. Dr Judy Mikovits PhD WPI, Reno, Nevada, USA Dr. Mikovits obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from George Washington University. She served as a senior scientist at Biosource International, where she led the development of proteomic assays for the Luminex platform that is used extensively for cytokine activity assessment in therapy development. Dr. Mikovits spent more than 20 years at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick MD during which time she received her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, investigating mechanisms by which retroviruses dysregulate the delicate balance of cytokines in the immune response. This work led to the discovery of the role aberrant DNA methylation plays in the pathogenesis of HIV. Later at the NCI, Dr. Mikovits directed the Lab of Antiviral Drug Mechanisms (LADM) a section of the NCI's Screening Technologies Branch in the Developmental Therapeutics Program. The LADM's mission was to identify, characterize and validate molecular targets and to develop high-throughput cell-based, genomic and epigenomic screens for the development of novel therapeutic agents for AIDS and AIDS-associated malignancies (Kaposi's sarcoma). Formally trained as a cell biologist, molecular biologist and virologist, Dr. Mikovits has studied the immune response to retroviruses and herpes viruses including HIV, SIV, HTLVI, HERV, HHV6 and HHV8 with a special emphasis on virus host cell interactions in cells of the hematopoietic system including hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). Dr. Mikovits' commercial experience includes serving as a senior scientist and group leader at Biosource International, where she led the Invest in ME (Charity Nr. 1114035) development of proteomic assays for the Luminex platform that is used extensively for cytokine activity assessment in therapy development. She also served as Chief Scientific Officer and VP of Drug Discovery at Epigenx Biosciences, where she led the development and commercialization of cell and array-based methylation assays for drug discovery and diagnostic development. She is Research Director at the Whittemore Peterson Nevada for Neuro-Immune disorders and has co-authored over 40 peer reviewed publications that address fundamental issues of viral pathogenesis, hematopoiesis and cytokine iology. (thanks to the WPI web site for this information) Dr Judy Mikovits – Abstract: Implications of XMRV Research for ME/CFS In 2006, sequences of a novel human retrovirus, XMRV, were identified and reported to be associated with a subset of hereditary prostate cancer. Although the public health implications of this finding were not immediately clear, the seminal study published late in 2009 showed XMRV is clearly a health concern (Lombardi et al, Science 2009;326:585-589). This study describes the detection of XMRV in about two-thirds of patients diagnosed with ME/CFS. Moreover, it was the first demonstration of the replication and production of infectious XMRV in human blood cells. Because of the potential risk of blood transfusion transmission of this emerging virus, national transfusion services in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand took the precautionary step to defer donors with CFS from giving blood. Data will be presented showing in both prostate cancer and ME/CFS as well as other neuroimmune diseases and cancers, the host mounts a humoral response to XMRV and infected patients are viremic for transmissible virus present in the plasma. Despite the fact that XMRV research is in its infancy, considerable attention has been focused on this recently discovered human retrovirus. This discovery opened up a new area of research with many unanswered questions: What is the prevalence of XMRV in the human population? Is XMRV a direct cause of one or both of these diseases or does it contribute their development or progression? How is XMRV transmitted? What are the tissue reservoirs of XMRV? Does XMRV affect innate and/or adaptive immune responses? What is Page 53/56

54 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication