Blue Ribbon Fellowship

As one of our primary programs, we have created a student fellowship for medical students to assist in top ME/CFS research labs in between their first and second years of medical school. We are proud to partner with the Open Medicine Foundation and the Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine at Nova Southeastern University to make this program a reality.

The summer between the first and second years of medical school is sometimes described as the last “free time” medical students have. However, most driven medical students will pursue research fellowships to set themselves up for success in competitive residency programs. We have launched a highly competitive fellowship in neuro-immune medicine for students to study with leaders in the field. Our goal is to foster a new generation of physicians devoted to solving complex neuro-immune diseases. Our primary partner is the Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine at Nova Southeastern University, and we plan to expand the program to more schools as the Fellowship grows.

According to a study by Leonard Jason of DePaul University, ME/CFS receives significantly less coverage in medical textbooks than diseases of lesser severity or less prevalence such as multiple sclerosis and Lyme disease. Beyond this, the information that is included in textbooks is often outdated or inaccurate. Therefore, in addition to giving students responsibility to handle complex and meaningful research, the fellowship would help fill gaping holes in their medical education.

ME/CFS is part of the spectrum of neuro-immune or neuroendocrine-immune diseases, which include but are not limited to fibromyalgia, Lyme, Gulf War Illness, multiple chemical sensitivities, autism, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. Patients often are co-morbid with one or more these conditions. Physicians who treat them often develop practices devoted to parsing out where a given patient falls in the spectrum of these diseases.

The Blue Ribbon Fellowship is made possible by a generous $8,000 grant from the Open Medicine Foundation. We began the program in 2015, hosting 3 (three) Blue Ribbon Fellows in our inaugural year. We well repeat this plan, hosting another three Blue Ribbon Fellows in 2017.

In its first year, the Blue Ribbon Fellowship was made possible by a generous grant from the Wisconsin ME/CFS Association. We are proud to partner with the Open Medicine Foundation this year, and look forward to expanding into more top institutes and attracting more funding partners as the success of our Fellows spreads.

The program was initially launched via a proposal in a column by Llewellyn King for the New York Times-Hearst Syndicate explaining our idea for the fellowship. It was published in a number of newspapers across the United States.

Click here to read the article.

Click here to see more information about the fellowship.

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