Newswise — FT. LAUDERDALE-DAVIE Fla. — Nancy Klimas, M.D., one of the world’s leading researchers and clinicians in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encepahalomyelitis (CFS/ME), a debilitating immune disorder that affects more than one million Americans, recently joined Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine faculty in December.
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
An expert in immune disorders, Klimas will establish the NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine, which will conduct cutting-edge research and treat patients suffering from CFS/ME and Gulf War Illness (GWI). The Institute will be located at NSU’s main campus in Davie. In the meantime, patients can continue receiving treatment at the existing Chronic Fatigue Center in Kendall, Fla., where Klimas is the director.
The Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine will use the integration of research, training, and clinical care to advance the needs of patients suffering from CFS/ME and GWI. By bringing together some of the best scientific minds in the world, the facility will act as both a think tank and a working institute for the research, train new clinicians, and provide diagnostic and therapeutic clinical care.
“The Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine, strategically placed at Nova Southeastern University, will bring together great minds in the field of neuro immune disorders under one umbrella,” Klimas said. “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. I am thrilled to partner with NSU in this giant step forward in the field of CFS/ME care and research.”
“We are excited to have Dr. Klimas join our university,” said NSU President George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D. “She is an internationally recognized authority on this debilitating disease as well as other complex diseases and clinical immunology.”
The Chronic Fatigue Center --- one of a few centers of its kind in the nation ---- will become a part of the NSU clinical health care system under the auspices of the Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine.
Klimas is also the director of research for the Clinical AIDS/HIV research program and Gulf War Illness research program at the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She is a leading national researcher on Gulf War Illness. This 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.
“Klimas will elevate NSU’s medical research to a new level and create opportunities for internal and external collaboration on global basis to find cures for CFS/ME and other complex diseases,” said Gary Margules, Sc.D., NSU’s vice president of NSU’s research and technology transfer.
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.
Klimas currently serves as a senior member of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee, a role in which she provides advice and recommendations to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. She has served two terms as president of the International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and sits on numerous boards and advisory groups.
She has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 18 book chapters, and three books. Many focus on CFS/ME, which has no cure and affects 17 million people worldwide. Her research has not only influenced health policy in the U.S., but also in Europe, Japan, Australia, and Canada.
Klimas, who is joining NSU from the University of Miami (UM), was the principal investigator of the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Multidisciplinary Studies of CFS Pathophysiology at UM, and is currently funded to use genomics to better understand the cause of persistent illness in both CFS/ME and GWI. She plans to expand this work through the new NSU Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine.
For more information, patients can call 954-262-2850.
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.
About Nova Southeastern University: Located in Davie, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic fully accredited Florida University dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs of distinction from preschool through the professional and doctoral levels. NSU has more than 29,000 students and is the eight largest not-for-profit independent institution nationally. The University awards associate’s, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, specialist, and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields, including business, counseling, computer and information sciences, education, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, dentistry, various health professions, law, marine sciences, early childhood, psychology and other social sciences. Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU was also awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification in 2010 for the University’s significant commitment to and demonstration of community engagement. For more information about Nova visit www.nova.edu.