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HealthRising: The Metabolic Trap Shines During The Symposium On The Molecular Basis Of ME/CFS At Stanford

Sunday 21 October 2018


From the Open Medicine Foundation:


Dr. Robert Phair
Dr. Robert Phair

HealthRising: The Metabolic Trap Shines During the Symposium on the Molecular Basis of ME/CFS at Stanford

By Cort Johnson
October 19, 2018
Copyright © 2018 Open Medicine Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

A New Approach To Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

If we ask Nature a question and ask it well, Nature answers. Most of the time the answer refutes our hypothesis. This time, Nature didn’t refute the hypothesis. Robert Phair

Ron Davis mentioned one of chronic fatigue syndrome’s aces in the hole several times – the chance to make a huge difference in a major disease. You could work for decades on cancer and make a difference there – an important difference but probably a small one, or you can take on something like ME/CFS and potentially make a huge difference. One of the reasons we have so many creative researchers in this small field may be because the ME/CFS challenge draws inquisitive minds.

Phair certainly has an inquisitive mind. He was one of the most active participants in the three-day Working Group session put together by Ron Davis and the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research Center at Stanford University. On the fourth day, the Working Group was featured in the Community Symposium on the Molecular Basis of ME/CFS at Stanford University. Both were sponsored by the Open Medicine Foundation with a special thank you to OMF Board Member Dr. Deborah Rose.

Phair’s a rare breed – a biological systems engineer. When he started out he caught grief from both sides; his father couldn’t understand why he would top off a good degree (electrical engineering) with a PhD in a bad one (physiology), and the biologists in academia didn’t get him either. He ended up forming his own company, Integrative Bioinformatics, Inc. which produces “models for biomedical discovery”.

That dual focus, however, fits right into Ron Davis’s mold. Davis, geneticist and inventor, after all, is his own unusual blend. He doesn’t run the Stanford Genome Center, he runs the Stanford Genome Technology Center – a blend that adds a pragmatic bent to his efforts. Davis is not an ivory tower theorist: his forte is creating tools that impact human health. Robert Phair – engineer and physiologist – must have seemed like a kindred spirit. Davis said he’d been looking for a systems engineer for a while.

(It bears reminding that the originator of the Metabolic Trap Hypothesis – Robert Phair – came to ME/CFS via an article in a Stanford magazine about Whitney Dafoe and ME/CFS. Sharing makes a difference. The more stories we get out, the more people who know about the disease, and the better chance we have of finding someone who will solve it.)


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