Nova Southeastern University's College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-COM) will hold a grand opening for America's first Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine on Feb. 12.
Located at NSU's main campus in Davie, the Institute will be the only one of its kind in the nation that will treat patients with conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and Gulf War Illness (GWI), as well as conduct basic and clinical research under one roof in this field.
The Institute will also be the first in the nation to study neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders such as CFS/ME, GWI, Parkinson's Disease and multiple sclerosis using the newest genomic techniques.
By studying individual genes and what they code for, the Institute's scientists will better understand the cause and point to new ways to treat these complex disorders. The idea is to challenge the patient with something like exercise and measure which genes turn on or off and to better understand the cause of relapse and illness persistence and find points of intervention. This important basic research will provide answers that will help scientists develop new pharmaceutical medications to treat these illnesses.
The Institute will have research laboratories, a patient clinic, a clinical research unit, faculty offices and conference facilities. It's designed to put together multiple core medical and scientific disciplines in one place: clinicians, educators and researchers in the areas of genomics, virology, immunology, cellular biology, computational biology and therapeutic modeling.
"We have created a one-of-a-kind think tank that will become the leading neuro immune medicine institute of its kind in the United States," said the Institute's director Nancy Klimas, M.D., who is one of the world's leading researchers and clinicians in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). "It will be a place to coordinate cutting edge thinking and research, train new practitioners, and offer the highest quality clinical care for a hugely underserved population. We are thrilled to take this giant step forward in the field of CFS/ME and Gulf War Illness care and research."
The Institute partners with the Miami VA Medical Center in the Gulf War Illness research program. It will compliment an existing NSU-COM clinic Klimas oversees in Kendall, which treats CFS/ME, GWI and other patients suffering from neuro immune disorders. When the Institute begins seeing patients on March 1, both facilities will accommodate around 1,300 patients from South Florida, throughout the nation and around the world.
By bringing together some of the best scientific minds in the world, the facility will act as both a working institute for research, train new clinicians, and provide diagnostic and therapeutic clinical care.