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Complex Neuro Inflammatory Conditions: GWI and ME/CFS

Welcome to our IACFS/ME Pre-conference Event

The Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine (INIM) at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is proud to host “Complex Neuro Inflammatory Conditions: GWI and ME/CFS”, a day-long event on Wednesday, October 26th from 10 AM to 7:30 PM, on the main campus of Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida.

As the “local” hosts, the INIM will showcase INIM researchers, students and physicians with poster presentations and panel discussions on various aspects of our work on ME/CFS and GWI. Highlighting a theme encouraging collaboration, the INIM team and fellow NSU collaborators, will host a panel discussion of leaders from the Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health,  Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Open Medicine Foundation to examine the power of collaboration in understanding complex medical conditions such as GWI and ME/CFS. The flyer for the event can be found here.


This event is open to any attendee of the IACFS/ME meeting, as well as the public, first come first serve. A registration fee of $25 will cover lunch, beverages and an invitation to our wine and cheese fundraiser at the end of the day to raise funds for ME/CFS Gene Research.  Click here to register! Registration will close on Tuesday, October 25th at noon.

There will also be a free webcast available to those unable to attend in person. To view this event via webcast, please follow this link. Upon clicking the link, please select the Live Event. The event begins at 10 AM.


The Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center is located on the main campus of Nova Southeastern University at 3100 Ray Ferrero Jr. Blvd, Davie, Fl 33314. For directions, click here.

Our poster session and lunch will be hosted in the atrium of the Carl DeSantis building, across the courtyard from the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts center.

The wine and cheese fundraiser will be hosted in the Center for Collaborative Research, also on the main campus of NSU. There will be complimentary shuttle service from the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Center to the fundraising event.


You will be required to display the parking permit on the dashboard of your car. Please print the parking permit, found here, and bring with you to the conference. The parking permit also has directions to the parking garage. If you are unable to print the permit, or do not bring it with you, we will have extras to provide you when you enter the parking garage.

Volunteering, Donations and Inquiries

If you are intersested in volunteering for this event, need more information or would like to donate to assist in this cost, please email


An engineer Gordonby training, Gordon Broderick, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Montreal as well as a master's in chemical engineering and an undergraduate in mechanical engineering both from McGill University. He subsequently completed post-doctoral training at McGill’s School of Computer Science in cancer genomics as well as a research fellowship in computational biochemistry at the University of Alberta where he led a high-performance computing effort in modeling the molecular dynamics of intracellular life.  Building on this study of complex emergent behavior in biology Dr. Broderick’s current research efforts are focused primarily on the emerging field of computational immunology and on how an integrated systems perspective might improve our understanding of immune dysfunction and autoimmunity in complex multi-system illness. This work is funded under a number of grants from the U.S. Department of Defense (CDMRP), the NIH and the U.S. Veterans Affairs. A member of the editorial board for the Elsevier journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, Dr. Broderick also contributes as an associate editor to the journal BMC Systems Biology. He also sits on the editorial board for the new journal Systems Biomedicine (Landes).

jackJack S. Burks, MD, is a neurologist and an international leader in multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuroimmunology.

Following a MS/Neuroimmunology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Burks was a founder of one of the nation’s first MS centers at the University of Colorado. Dr. Burks has been a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Neurology, past President of the American Society for Neurological Rehabilitation, a founder of the Consortium of MS Centers and CMO of the MS Association of America. He has published 3 MS books, over 200 scientific articles, abstracts, and reviews as well as helping to establish MS programs in over 40 countries. 

Travis Craddock, Ptravish.D. is an assistant professor of Psychology, Computer Science and Medicine applying systems biology and biophysics methods towards the purpose of identifying novel treatments for complex chronic illness involving neuroinflammation.  His postdoctoral work was conducted under the supervision of Gordon Broderick, Ph.D., in the Broderick Laboratory for Clinical Systems Biology in the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta. His work with Gordon Broderick, Ph.D., focused on using a theory driven systems biology approach to investigate neuroendocrine-immune interaction dynamics in neuroinflammation and its relation complex diseases such as Gulf War Illness, and chronic fatigue syndrome. This work was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. 

He received his BSc. in co-op physics from the University of Guelph and went on to finish a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in the field of biophysics at the University of Alberta under the supervision of Jack Tuszynski, Ph.D.  His graduate research activities focused on subneural biomolecular information processing, and nanoscale neuroscience descriptions of memory, consciousness and cognitive dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.


Dr. Davis’ history of interdisciplinary work, technology development, and attacking previously unsolvable biological problems (both in genetics and traumatology) makes him the ideal scientist to lead a collaborative consortium to solve the mystery of ME/CFS. Additionally, he brings a strong passion to this cause in hopes of finding a cure for his son, who suffers from a severe case.

Dr. Davis is a professor of Biochemistry and Genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine, and he is the director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center. Dr. Davis holds a PhD in chemistry from Caltech. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

dethDr. Richard Deth is Professor of Pharmacology in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Nova Southeastern University and Professor Emeritus at Northeastern University. He received his B.S. degree in Pharmacy from State University of New York at Buffalo, and his doctoral degree in Pharmacology from the University of Miami. His research interests are focused on the role of oxidative stress and impaired methylation reactions in neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, including the important role of epigenetic regulation. His laboratory was first to identify the unique ability of the D4 dopamine receptor to carry out phospholipid methylation and showed that numerous environmentally-derived toxins, including heavy metals, potently impair this process as well as other methylation reactions. Dr. Deth has published more than 100 peer reviewed research articles and book chapters and in 2003 he authored the monograph “Molecular Origins of Human Attention: The Dopamine-Folate Connection”.

mary ann fletcherI am a principal investigator and senior scientist in interdisciplinary research on complex multi symptom illnesses, including Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Gulf War Illness (GWI). This research is funded by grants from the NIH, VA and DOD and has a particular focus on identification of clinically useful biomarkers. Currently, I am the Director of the Diagnostic and Discovery Laboratory at  Nova Southeastern University’s Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine and the Schemel Endowed Chair. In this role, I oversee the laboratory based research at the Institute. I am a Research Scientist at the Miami VA Medical Center. I am a member of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee that advises the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. I joined NSU in 2013 from the University of Miami, where I spent the majority of my 40 years of academic employment as Professor and Director of the E.M. Papper Laboratory of Clinical Immunology. I relocated to NSU in 2013. My contributions to the literature includes over 284 peer reviewed papers.


Kristina Teresa Gemayel is a third year medical student at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Kristina is committed to community service, serves as a chair on several clubs, and is a Blue Ribbon Foundation Scholar focused on creating a genetic database for patients affected with ME/CFS.

grantStephen Grant was born in Toronto, Canada and received his Ph.D. in Medical Genetics from the University of Toronto.  He came to the United States in 1985 and never left, and am now an American citizen.  His work has always been about detecting and characterizing DNA damage caused by environmental exposures, and how this damage is involved in human disease, primarily cancer. Dr. Grant has published almost 100 scientific papers and two books, and made over 300 scientific presentations to his peers and the lay public. His highest profile work has been on detecting the damage caused in unborn babies by their mother’s exposure to secondary tobacco smoke, and on how a cumulative measure of environmental exposures is predictive of human cancer. He has worked in four American cities, for National Laboratories and hospital-based Research Institutes. Dr. Grant came to Nova Southeastern University in 2011 and is now the Director of a large program, Project SEAMIST, to train maritime workers to handle hazardous cargoes safely.  In addition, he continues his primary studies on the genetic and environmental causes of breast cancer, and has recently applied the same techniques to leukemia, autism and Gulf War syndrome

kellyKelly Hilton is a  third year Medical Student and Research Fellow at Nova Southeastern University. She is currently also one of the recipients of The Blue Ribbon Foundation Fellowships. Prior to medical school she worked at the Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine as a Research Coordinator for the CDC Multi-Site Clinical Assessment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Study and graduated cum laude from the University of Florida.

Rajeev Jaundoo holds a B.Sc. in Psychology and is currently a research programmer at the Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine. His work includes utilizing high performance computing to screen novel biochemical compounds to treat complex chronic illness, creating pipelines for drug discovery, and writing algorithms in various programming languages to automate tasks including molecular simulations and drug-protein interactions.

vicDr. Victor F. Kalasinsky holds a B.S. degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry from the University of South Carolina.  He taught physical and analytical chemistry at the University of South Carolina, Furman  University, and Mississippi State University, where he was Professor of Chemistry and Coordinator of Graduate Studies, until 1989.  Dr. Kalasinsky spent a sabbatical leave at the Laboratory for Chemical Physics at the National Institutes of Health in 1987-1988.  In 1989, Dr. Kalasinsky joined the staff at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC, in the Department of Environmental and Infectious Disease Sciences as the Chief of the Division of Environmental Toxicology.  In 2011, he moved to the Department of Veterans Affairs as Senior Program Manager for Gulf War Illnesses and Military Environmental Exposures Research in the Office of Research and Development.

nancy klimasNancy Klimas, MD, has more than 30 years of professional experience and has achieved international recognition for her research and clinical efforts in multi-symptom disorders, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Gulf War Illness (GWI), Fibromyalgia, and other Neuro Immune Disorders. She is immediate past president of the International Association for CFS and ME (IACFS/ME), a professional organization of clinicians and investigators, and is also a member of the VA Research Advisory Committee for GWI, the NIH P2P CFS Committee, and the Institute of Medicine ME/CFS Review Panel. Dr. Klimas has advised three Secretaries of Health and Human Services, including Kathleen Sabelius, during her repeated service on the Health and Human Services CFS Advisory Committee. Dr. Klimas has been featured on Good Morning America, in USA Today and the New York Times.
kristieDr. Lidie is Program Manager for the Department of Defense Gulf War Illness Research Program (GWIRP) managed by the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).  As Program Manager, she is responsible for executing the program life cycle to include annual review of the program vision, development and release of research funding opportunities, overseeing the two-tier review of research proposals, and overall program evaluation.  Dr. Lidie has been with CDMRP for six years, joining the GWIRP team in 2014. Prior to that, she managed a research portfolio within the CDMRP Breast Cancer Research Program.   Prior to the CDMRP, Dr. Lidie worked as a molecular and cellular biologist for the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, MD.

Mariana MorrisMorris, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized research scholar. Her research has focused on cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chemical toxicology. She began her career at the University of Southwestern   School of Medicine where she received a Ph.D in physiology. Dr. Morris is currently professor of medicine and the director of the Gulf War Illness (GWI) Research Program Consortium at Nova Southeastern University, College of Osteopathic Medicine. The GWI program is funded by the Department of Defense with the goal of conducting integrative basic and clinical studies to lead to effective disease treatments.

Dr. Morris previously served as a professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest University and then continued her professional career as the Chair and professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Assistant Vice President for Graduate Studies at Wright State University in Dayton, OH. She was awarded the title of Brage Golding Distinguished Professor of Research in 2010 due to her research on hypertension and the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. She has over 150 publications and has received continuous grant support from national sources.

In addition to her involvement in research, Dr. Mariana Morris served on numerous National Institutes of Health review panels, has been active in the American Heart Association and the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. She has a long standing interest in international research collaboration, particularly with scientists at InCor Heart Hospital in Sao Paulo,Brazil. She received a Fulbright award for teaching and research and is currently a member of an elite Brazilian program entitled “Scientists without Borders” which promotes faculty, student interchange. Morris has established and served as director of numerous federally funded programs designed to encourage members of under- represented minority groups and students with disabilities.

lubovMy Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), and my postdoctoral experience allowed me to gain a comprehensive understanding of cellular processes. As a Manager and later Director of the Gene Expression and Microarray Core (2004 - 2010), I gained extensive hands-on experience of sample processing for microarray, Nanostring and NextGen sequencing analyses, as well as administering the above mentioned projects (e.g., staffing, research protections, and budget). As part of the Bioinformatics group (2010-2012) I evaluated many different bioinformatics software tools and gained experience in analyzing large genomics datasets as well as conducting systems biology analyses.

In 2012, I joined Nova Southeastern University as an Assistant Professor, which allowed me to transition to leading my own research studies, apply for and receive independent NIH funding. I am a member of NSU’s Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine, which includes several NIH and DoD funded investigators.

jimDr. James P. O’Callaghan serves as Distinguished Consultant, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Head of the Molecular Neurotoxicology Laboratory in the Toxicology and Molecular Biology Branch of the Health Effects Laboratory Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  NIOSH..  His research group investigates the molecular and cellular basis of gliosis, a dominant response of the central nervous system to chemical- and disease-induced injury.  Prior to joining CDC-NIOSH, Dr. O’Callaghan served as the Senior Science Adviser to the Neurotoxicology Division of  the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). At the EPA and CDC-NIOSH, Dr. O’Callaghan has conducted extensive research on the neurotoxicity profiles of many types of chemicals.  He also has examined the neurotoxic effects of drugs of abuse, nerve agents, neuroimmune activators, and pesticides under external sponsorship (NIDA, DOD, CDC Foundation).

As one of the foirmaunding members of the Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine, Dr. Irma Rey's professional experience in Internal Medicine and Allergy/Immunology is an integral part of the success of the INIM Clinic. After more than 20 years of private practice, Dr. Rey joined the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine as Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, with an Appointment in Clinical Immunology. Dr. Rey's experience with treating patients with ME/CFS is what drew her to the opportunity to be a founding member of the INIM. Dr. Rey understands that exceptional patient care is what is needed, and this is what she provides.

Besides providing patient care, Dr. Rey is the Director of the Medical Edu-cation Committee for the INIM, developing Medical Rotations for 1st through 4th year NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) students. Currently, Dr. Rey supervises and mentors Medical Rotations for 1st year NSU-COM students and Allergy/Immunology Fellows in Clinical Immunology from the joint NSU/Larkin Hospital Fellowship program and is also a lecturer in the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

kimDr. Sullivan is a Research Assistant Professor of Environmental Health at the Boston University School of Public Health. She is a behavioral neuroscientist who has been consistently funded to study the cognitive, behavioral and neuroimaging correlates of Gulf War Illness (GWI) since the mid-1990s. She is the Principal Investigator (PI) on the currently funded large multi-site Gulf War Illness Consortium study (GWIC) that includes 9 study sites and is designed to determine the pathobiology of Gulf War Illness (GWI) in clinical and preclinical models. Dr. Sullivan is also the site PI on treatment trials of intranasal insulin, Co-enzyme Q10 and D-cycloserine in veterans with GWI. Dr. Sullivan has worked in the field of behavioral neurotoxicology since 1995. She has coordinated field studies in neurotoxicology (i.e., pesticides, methylmercury), neurobehavioral outcomes and the effects of physical stressors and genetic predisposition to disease on cognitive functioning.
lindaWith years of executive management experience as a clinical laboratory scientist, Linda Tannenbaum owned and ran a successful independent clinical laboratory for over 21 years before starting two non profits to raise funds for ME/CFS research. Fulfilling a promise to their daughter, who came down with sudden onset ME/CFS at the age of 16 in 2006, Linda and her husband had started their first non-profit Neuro-Immune Disease Alliance (NIDA). to raise funds from family and friends.  Ms. Tannenbaum soon realized that open, global collaborative research was lacking and founded Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) in 2012 to take the efforts to a much larger level to fund and facilitate large research projects to find a cure for ME/CFS and other similar chronic illnesses.
ungerElizabeth Unger received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA and her PhD and MD from the University of Chicago.  She completed her residency and fellowship in anatomic pathology at the University of Chicago and Pennsylvania State University Hershey Medical Center.  She is currently chief of the Chronic Viral Diseases Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where she is responsible for guiding research and public health studies encompassing molecular pathology and epidemiology of human papillomavirus-associated diseases and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.
vickyVicky Holets Whittemore, PhD is a Program Director in the Channels, Synapses and Circuits Cluster at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health.   Dr. Whittemore received a B.S. in Zoology from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. in Anatomy from the University of Minnesota Medical School.  After post-doctoral training at the University of California, Irvine, and the Karolinska Institute, she was on the faculty of the University of Miami School of Medicine in The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.  She then moved to work in non-profit organizations before joining the NINDS in 2011.  Dr. Whittemore also serves on the Trans-NIH Working Group on ME/CFS and the HHS Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Council.
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