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NSU to host Conference on new Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine

Conference on Jan. 26 will discuss chronic fatigue syndrome, Gulf War Illness and other neuro immune conditions in advance of the Institute’s grand opening in February

FT. LAUDERDALE-DAVIE Fla. — Nova Southeastern University (NSU) will be hosting a conference on Saturday, Jan. 26 about the upcoming opening of the NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine.


Dr. Nancy Klimas


The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Knight Auditorium located inside the Carl DeSantis Building on NSU’s main Davie campus. It will feature physicians and researchers speaking about the clinical practice and research that will be conducted at the new $5 million Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine.

With a grand opening on Feb. 12, the Institute will be the only one of its kind in the nation that will treat patients with conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), Gulf War Illness (GWI) and other neuro immune conditions, as well as conduct basic and clinical research under one roof in this field.

The Institute will also be the first in the nation to study neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders such as CFS/ME, GWI, Parkinson’s Disease and multiple sclerosis using the newest genomic techniques.

By studying individual genes and what they code for, the Institute scientists will better understand the cause and point to new ways to treat these complex disorders. The idea is to challenge the patient with something like exercise and measure which genes turn  on or off and to better understand the cause of relapse and illness persistence and find points of intervention. This important basic research will provide answers that will help scientists develop new pharmaceutical medications to treat these illnesses.

Housed at NSU’s main campus, the Institute will have research laboratories, the patient clinic, a clinical research unit, faculty offices and conference facilities. It’s designed to put together multiple core medical and scientific disciplines in one place: clinicians, educators and researchers in the areas of genomics, virology, immunology, cellular biology, computational biology and therapeutic modeling.

“We have created a one-of-a-kind think tank that will become the leading neuro immune medicine institute of its kind in the United States,” said the Institute’s director Nancy Klimas, M.D., who is one of the world’s leading researchers and clinicians in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). “It will be a place to coordinate cutting edge thinking and research, train new practitioners, and offer the highest quality clinical care for a hugely underserved population. We are thrilled to take this giant step forward in the field of CFS/ME and Gulf War Illness care and research.”

The Institute partners with the Miami VA Medical Center in the Gulf War Illness research program.  It will compliment an existing NSU clinic Klimas oversees in Kendall, which treats CFS/ME, GWI and other patients suffering from neuro immune disorders. When the Institute begins seeing patients on March 1, both facilities will accommodate around 1,300 patients from South Florida, throughout the nation and around the world.

By bringing together some of the best scientific minds in the world, the facility will act as both a working institute for research, train new clinicians, and provide diagnostic and therapeutic clinical care.

In addition to seeing patients and conducting research, Klimas and her team are conducting clinic trails for the drug Ampligen, which would be the first-ever medication to treat CFS/ME if approved by the FDA.

CFS/ME is a debilitating immune disorder that affects more than one million Americans. A majority of CFS/ME sufferers are women, who remain mostly untreated. The disease damages the patient’s immune system and causes symptoms such as extreme fatigue unabated by sleep, faintness, widespread muscle and joint pain, sore throat, severe headaches, cognitive difficulties, and severe mental and physical exhaustion. CFS/ME symptoms typically last for more than six months, often decades. Those suffering from the disease find their lives dramatically altered to the extent that working and completing simple tasks become difficult or impossible.

Gulf War Illness is medical condition affects veterans and civilians who were exposed to a number of triggers, including chemical weapons during the 1991 Gulf War. Symptoms include musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, skin rashes, cognitive problems, and diarrhea.

The Institute is part of NSU’s initiative to bring world renowned researchers to campus.  The Schemel Family Foundation has generously donated $2 million to establish an additional endowed professorship, the Schemel Professor for Neuro Immune Medicine in neuroimmunology, at the Institute to work directly with Klimas. In addition, a beautiful patient waiting area was generously contributed by the Maroone Family.

The conference on Jan. 26, called CFS/ME & Gulf War Illness 2013 – A Celebration of Hope & Progress, is opened to the public. Cost is a $25 minimum donation, which includes lunch and refreshments. To register, please visit this website and fill out the registration form: http://www.nova.edu/nim/index.html#events The conference will also be broadcast live through an NSU webcast. It’s free for the first 200 people to register at this link: https://www.nova.edu/webforms/nim/index.html

Once you have registered, the webcast link will be e-mailed to you. For more information, please e-mail grandopening@cfsclinic.com

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About NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine:  For students pursuing their education at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-COM), the matriculation experience has proven to be both challenging and rewarding. By combining the most contemporary teaching modalities with the newest technology, our students are assured of obtaining the most comprehensive education possible. Thanks to the synergistic energy of our students, faculty members, and staff members of all of our programs, the pursuit of excellence has become a daily reality at NSU-COM. http://medicine.nova.edu/

About Nova Southeastern University: Situated on 300 beautiful acres in Davie, Florida, Nova Southeastern University is a dynamic fully accredited research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at all levels.  NSU is the eighth largest not-for-profit independent institution nationally with more than 28,000 students. NSU awards associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields. Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is one of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification.  www.nova.edu

Media Contact:
Ken Ma, MBA, NSU Office of Public Affairs
954-262-5408 (office), 954-621-7961 (cell), ken.ma@nova.edu

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