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Melbourne ME/CFS Collaboration

Precision research program to identify the unique biology of individuals and the unifying biological pathways of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

About the research hub

Established in 2020, the Melbourne ME/CFS Collaboration, directed by Christopher W. Armstrong, PhD, is a hub of research innovation and collaboration for ME/CFS and related conditions.

Dr. Armstrong’s interest in ME/CFS research was sparked by his interactions with patients and clinicians during his PhD in Biochemistry at The University of Melbourne, leading to a dedicated pursuit of understanding these complex diseases.

Chris Armstrong, PhD, headshot

His innovative use of metabolomics to detect biochemical changes in patients was pivotal, capturing Linda Tannenbaum’s attention at a conference and resulting in his collaboration with Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) as a Science Liaison and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University under Ronald W. Davis. This collaboration laid the foundation for OMF Australia, established to continue supporting Chris’ groundbreaking research upon his return to Melbourne.

The Melbourne ME/CFS Collaboration aims to decipher the common biological pathways in ME/CFS, acknowledging patient diversity in disease manifestation. Initially focusing on metabolic studies, the collaboration now champions precision medicine to understand each patient’s unique biology. Dr. Armstrong’s strategy includes expanding research networks within Australia and across the world, guiding new scientists in the field and bridging different patient groups to enhance collective understanding.

Under Dr. Armstrong’s leadership, the Melbourne ME/CFS Collaboration continues to be at the forefront of cutting-edge research, striving to unlock the complexities of ME/CFS and pave the way for targeted interventions and improved patient outcomes.


Blood Flow and Exercise in ME/CFS and Orthostatic Intolerance

The study aims to investigate the effects of supine vs upright exercise on cerebral blood flow, blood pressure, heart rate, and the presence of autoimmune antibodies in ME/CFS patients with orthostatic intolerance, compared to controls, to understand the underlying mechanisms and differences in symptom severity and post-exertional malaise.

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25-Day Metabolite Monitoring Study of ME/CFS Patients

The study aims to meticulously analyse daily changes in metabolites from blood samples of individuals with ME/CFS over 25 days, to uncover the complex biological processes contributing to the condition and facilitate patient clustering by dynamic changes, thereby addressing the challenge of clinical and biological diversity within the ME/CFS population.

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AusME Biobank Biomarker Project

The study aims to utilise the Australian ME/CFS biobank for metabolomics analyses and other assays to identify potential biomarkers for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, contributing to a comprehensive dataset for large-scale analysis.

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BOSS-ME: Biological Outlier and
Subtyping Software for ME/CFS

This project will develop a software tool to rapidly look for metabolism anomalies in an individual which might be explained by their genes. It will also look for potentially damaging genes in individuals and it will attempt to group ME/CFS patients based on their genetic and metabolic profiles.

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Itaconate Trap Study

This project aims to look at metabolic traps in central carbon metabolism that lead to observed altered energy production pathways in ME/CFS.

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Single Day Longitudinal Study

This study seeks to understand the biological mechanisms driving the symptomatology of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) using metabolomic and lipidomic high-throughput analysis and high-frequency blood sampling over a 6.5 to 7.5 hour period conducted at two separate sites (Melbourne and Uppsala).

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Deep Proteome and Metabolome Profiling

Collaborate with OMF CRCs in Uppsala and Melbourne to establish a global perspective.

Decode the molecular mechanisms underlying ME/CFS and contributing to specific symptoms with a particular emphasis of post-exertional malaise (PEM) through:

Deep phenotyping of ME patients
Global proteomic plasma profiling of ME patients
Global metabolomics plasma profiling of ME patients

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Ocular Motor Study for ME/CFS

The aim of this project is to fully characterise eye movement changes in ME/CFS on two consecutive days, identifying an ocular motor signature that is unique to the disorder.

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Scientific Team

To carry out these ambitious projects, Dr. Armstrong continues to develop networks and collaborations extending to USA, UK, Sweden, Canada, and other Australian institutions. 

University of Melbourne, Australia

Paul Gooley, PhD

Natalie Thomas, PhD

Kathy Huang

Amber Jaa-Kwee

Elena Christopolous

Xiaoyun Wang, PhD

David Fineberg, MBBS, FRACGP, DCH

Neil McGregor, PhD

David Ascher, PhD

Elisha Josev, PhD

Sarah Knight, PhD

Adam Scheinberg, FRACP, FAFRM, MMed(ClinEpi)

Elena Schneider-Futschik, PhD

Kristin Brown, PhD

Michael Menden, PhD

Leigh Johnston, PhD

Rebecca Glarin, BApSc, PGDip(MRI)

Rob Williams

Bradford Moffat, PhD

Christopher Rowe, BMBS, FRACP, MD, FAANMS 

Stanford University, USA

Ronald Davis, PhD

Michael Snyder, PhD

Robert Phair, PhD

Laurel Crosby, PhD

Jaime Seltzer

Linda Lan, PhD

Yue Wu, PhD

Jessi Li

Longsha, Liu

Harvard-Affiliated Hospitals, USA

David Systrom, MD

Wenzhong Xiao, PhD 

Uppsala University, Sweden

Jonas Bergquist, MD, PhD

University of Montreal, Canada

Alain Moreau, PhD

University of Alabama Birmingham, USA

Jarred Younger, PhD

University College London, UK

Jo Cambridge, PhD

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Michal Tal, PhD

Beth Pollack

La Trobe University, Australia

Sarah Annesley, PhD

Paul Fisher, PhD

Daniel Missailidis, PhD

Australian National University, Australia

Brett Lidbury, PhD

Alice Richardson, PhD

Monash University, Australia

Joanne Fielding, PhD

Meaghan Clough, PhD

Caroline Gurvich, Dpsych

Jade Bartholomew

Macquarie University, Australia

Benjamin Heng, PhD

Baker Institute, Australia

Keegan Moneghetti, FRACP, PhD

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Australia

Tracey Chau, PhD 

Victoria University, Australia

Joshua Johnson, PhD 

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), Australia

Martin Lewis, PhD 

Michael Musker, PhD

OMF Australia Funded
Critical Research

OMF Australia Limited is a Health Promotion Charity, established for the purpose of promoting and funding research into multi-system chronic complex diseases, and supports the Melbourne ME/CFS Collaboration.

Learn about Our Other OMF Funded Collaborative Research Centers

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