Journal of IiME Volume 5 Issue 1 (May 2011) PRESENTERS at the 6th INVEST in ME INTERNATIONAL ME/CFS CONFERENCE Annette Whittemore Annette Whittemore is President and Co-founder of the Whittemore-Peterson Institute in Nevada, USA. She graduated from the University of Nevada and taught children who had neuro-cognitive deficits, like those found in autism, ADD, and learning disabilities. Annette is the parent of a young adult who was severely affected by CFS. She found that few doctors understood the reasons for her daughter's continuing physical decline and therefore committed her time and resources to bringing attention to the serious nature of neuroimmune diseases and change her community in a positive way. She began this important mission in 1994 by supporting a Think Tank on ME/CFS, led by Dr. Daniel Peterson of Incline Village. In 2004 she and another patient advocate began a medical foundation to support research to find biomarkers of disease and treatments for patients impacted by the HHV-6A virus. In order to provide solutions for patients and bring new doctors into this field of medicine, Annette and others supported a bill to build a biomedical research center at the University of Nevada with an Institute for Neuro-Immune disease and the Nevada Cancer Institute. Annette founded the Whittemore-Peterson Institute for Neuroimmune Diseases which is built on the medical campus with a mission to serve those with complex neuro-immune diseases such as ME/CFS, viral induced central nervous system dysfunction and fibromyalgia. 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. Abstract: WPI‟s discovery of a human retrovirus in patients with ME (CFS) is significant and may be life changing for those who are impacted. Although additional studies are necessary to clarify the role of gamma retroviruses in human disease, WPI remains committed to research that will help define the causes of complex neuro-immune diseases such as ME. Identifying accurate biomarkers of disease and translating this information to better treatments continues to be most important to the WPI. To insure that there are adequate levels of vital biomedical research the WPI continues to encourage and engage in advocacy at all levels on behalf of those who suffer. Despite many areas of progress much more still remains to be done to educate the public to the realities of this disease and to remove the barriers that prevent effective patient treatment. ME FACTS In 1969: the World Health Organisation classified ME as a neurological disorder. 1978: The Royal Society of Medicine accepted ME as a nosological entity. Invest in ME (Charity Nr. 1114035) www.investinme.org Page 47/58

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