Dr. Klimas formed Nova Southeastern University’s Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine (INIM), by bringing an interdisciplinary group of faculty together to study GWI and other complex medical conditions. She is Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Clinical Immunology at NSU, and has been a staff physician and Director of Clinical Immunology Research at the Miami VAMC for 33 years. Dr. Klimas is Director of the UM/VAMC GWI and ME/CFS Research Center and GWI clinic. She is recognized internationally for her research and clinical efforts in multi-symptom disorders.
Dr. McNeil has directly managed the full lifecycle of epidemiologic and interventional research studies in academic and federal settings for more than 10 years. She served in the VA’s Cooperative Studies Program as lead biostatistician for the VA Gulf War Era Cohort and Biorepository and was awarded a VA HSR&D grant to explore the current disease burdens and healthcare utilization of Gulf War I era Veterans. She also provided technical and managerial leadership to the Computational Sciences Core of the Durham, NC VA Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center for 7 years.
Dr. Cheema is an experienced scientist and the Program Director of Research Operations under the Gulf War Illness Clinical Trials and Interventions Center. She oversees clinical research development, implementation and operations. She has served as the Administrative Director of the NSU-based GWIC, coordinating the operations of the multi-site, multi-study consortium. She provides her expertise in biochemistry, nutrition and develops clinical research projects using nutraceuticals/dietary factors.
At NSU, she holds an Assistant Professor position at INIM, Department of Nutrition Science and Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography where she develops, and teaches graduate and undergraduate level courses as well as provides student research mentorship.
Dr. Sullivan has expertise in evaluation of neurocognitive domains, neuroimaging, and quality control of multisite neurocognitive and imaging assessment platforms. She will work with the site investigators, SMAB, and modeling team to develop, quality control, and analyze objective markers of neurocognition and neuroinflammation.
Dr. Fletcher is a leader in biomarker discovery and validation. Her laboratory has served as the core lab for local and national studies of GWI, as well as, the national biorepository site for the BU (Sullivan) GWIC. This Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified high complexity laboratory has methods for functional assays and serologic, flow cytometric, and genomic studies.
The Computational Modeling Core will be co-directed by Dr. Craddock, along with Dr. Broderick. The Core will integrate the computational modeling resources of the NSU INIM for ascertainment of study outcomes and identification of additional therapeutic target and interventions.
The Computational Modeling Core will be co-directed by Dr. Broderick, along with and Dr. Craddock. The Core will integrate the computational modeling resources of the NSU INIM for ascertainment of study outcomes and identification of additional therapeutic target and interventions.
The Study Management Biostatics Core, based at RTI International and directed by Dr. Rebecca McNeil, will provide administrative and logistical support, including study management and monitoring, regulatory support, clinical informatics and data management, clinical trial design, and biostatistical analysis.
Dr. Klimas's experience was previously described as the GWICTIC Principal Investigator and Consortium Director. She is recognized internationally for her research and clinical efforts in multi-symptom disorders.
Dr. Bested is a hematologist, internationally recognized as an ME/CFS expert, and an expert in case definition and assessment of complex medical disorders. She is the Clinical Director at INIM and supervises the Veterans Choice INIM clinic. The studies will be performed at NSU's INIM Clinical Research Center.
Dr. Sullivan's experience was previously described as the Neuroscience Core Director. With her colleagues at the Boston VA she has a strong track record of recruitment, logistically difficult studies incorporating imaging and comprehensive neurocognitive and multi-domain assessment.
Dr. Ashford has been the Director of the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) site, based at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, since 2007. Dr. Ashford has a strong interest in understanding the health concerns of Veterans and how to manage their numerous unexplained symptoms, including memory problems and severe chronic pain. His current research is focused on the improvement of the assessing multiple illnesses in Veterans, particularly pain, cognitive impairment, sleep disruption/chronic fatigue, autonomic dysregulation, and non-pharmacologic interventions including rTMS.
Dr. Helmer, Director of the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC), conducts research, education and clinical activities to promote health, quality of life and function in deployed Veterans, especially those with chronic multi-symptom illness. Dr. Helmer and his research team have extensive clinical trial experience, serving as PIs for various multi-institutional clinical trials focusing on GWI.
War Related Illness and Injury Study Centers (WRIISC) are regional centers of excellence promoting research and providing expert clinical care, and have extensive access to potential research study participants through their regional clinical consultation program. Site investigators: Drew Helmer, M.D., Wes Ashford, M.D., Ph.D.; and Peter Rumm M.D. Associate Director of the VA Office of Public Health.
Jimmy Arocho has served on the NSU GWIC executive committee for the past three years, and is an enthusiastic asset to our research program. He speaks nationally on the research program, assists in recruitment, and advocates within the regional VA, as well as, national Veterans’ organizations promoting the research program. As a retired master sergeant, he is a highly effective communicator, and has been an integral member of research leadership for the last three years.
Marylyn Harris is a Gulf War Veteran with a strong background in both business and medicine. She serves on the Veteran Affairs Gulf War illness Research Advisory Committee, where she shares her wealth of practical knowledge with the research committee. She has been a resource to investigators brainstorming ways to reach out to Veterans of GWI, particularly women veterans as they recruit research studies.
Vimary Collado, RN, BSN, is the Research Nurse for the GWICTIC at Nova Southeastern University. She has recently obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Chamberlan University and is eager to utilize her skills and education in servicing the Veteran Community. Vimary works under the general supervision of the Principal Investigator and is responsible for the coordination of onsite studies. Vimary is a member of the site working group and is accountable for implementation of the site protocol at the various study sites.
Henry Guerrero, B.S, is the Research Nurse for the GWICTIC at Nova Southeastern University. Under the direct supervision of the Principal Investigator, Henry works in concert with the Program Manager and fellow Research Nurse to ensure compliance with protocols and overall clinical objectives. Henry performs various study assessments, determines eligibility of potential subjects, oversees subject enrollment to ensure that informed consent is properly obtained and documented, and works closely with the fellow Research Nurse, ensuring appropriate labs are drawn and transported to the laboratory. Previously, Henry worked as an Academic Coordinator for the Department of Urogynecology at Cleveland Clinic Weston, a Research Coordinator with a Radiologist and a Research Associate for an Infectious Disease Physician at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Zena Kirby, MA, is the Program Manager for the GWICTIC at Nova Southeastern University. Zena works closely with the Program Directors and other personnel to manage overall outreach and recruitment efforts, establish appropriate quality control procedures, and organize meetings within the GWICTIC. In her previous position, Zena worked with both Active Duty Service Members and Veterans, recruiting for clinical trials investigating Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with the Uniformed Services University Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine at the Fort Belvoir TBI Clinic.