Applicants needed for Columbia ME/CFS Research Center Community Advisory Committee

The Columbia University Center for Infection and Immunity is seeking applicants for the Community Advisory Committee for their Collaborative Research Center – The Center for Solutions for ME/CFS.

The Center for Solutions for ME/CFS (CfS for ME/CFS) is a multi-institutional, inter-disciplinary research center dedicated to understanding the biology of ME/CFS and developing diagnostic tests and methods for preventing and treating disease. It builds on decades of work by a network of expert clinicians and laboratory scientists with expertise in epidemiology, infectious disease, immunology, genetics and biochemistry, as well as a large cohort of well-characterized patients and biological samples. Our efforts will be linked with those of other Collaborative Research Centers and guided by close interactions with the ME/CFS community.

The Center, directed by W. Ian Lipkin, is conceptualized as a “center without walls.” The administrative core of the Center is housed in the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Scientific and clinical activities comprise three distinct but interrelated projects. Key Center faculty and staff include Dana March (Columbia, Deputy Director, Administrator, Co-Investigator project 3); Oliver Fiehn (UCD, Co-Lead, Project 2); John Greally (Einstein, Co-Lead, Project 2); Anthony Komaroff (Harvard, Lead, Project 3); clinical Co-Investigators for Project 3, Lucinda Bateman (Bateman Horne Center), Daniel Peterson (Simmaron), Susan Levine (Private Practice), and José Montoya (Stanford); and Paul Newswanger (Columbia, Project Coordinator).

The Community Advisory Committee, the Scientific Advisory Board, and the Internal Executive Committee will advise Center activities.


The specific role of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is to assist with the development and execution of community engagement/outreach and partnership activities. It will help focus the Center for Solutions for ME/CFS investigators on patient priorities and challenges, serve as a communications liaison between the ME/CFS community and the Center, assist with study recruitment, and inform the clinical research that the Center for Solutions for ME/CFS conducts.

Specifically, the Community Advisory Committee will:

  • Work with CII to disseminate information to the community about the Center’s research and opportunities for participation
  • Communicate with the Center about community needs, priorities, and current and past research
  • Assist the Center in weighing and balancing the strategic priorities among stakeholders (e.g. patients, caregivers, families, other advocates, etc.)
  • Participate in the development of working groups for select Center activities (e.g. epidemiological analyses, clinical protocols, mobile app development, etc.) In cases where additional expertise will be helpful, working groups may include participants that are not part of the core CAC.


The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) shall comprise 11 members, three of whom will be representatives from partner organizations—#MEAction, The Microbe Discovery Project, and Solve ME/CFS Initiative—that signed on as collaborators during the preparation of the funding application for the Center. The remaining eight members of the CAC will come from the ME/CFS community and shall comprise a diverse group of ME/CFS patients and other community advocates to ensure broad community representation.

Each representative will serve a one-year term, renewable. The Community Advisory Committee will participate in six bimonthly teleconferences annually. An optional in-person meeting once a year may be added if members of the CAC and the Columbia team decide it would help the Center’s activities.

To accommodate possible health status changes of CAC members, the CAC will be considered to have a quorum when at least 6 members are present at any meeting. A simple majority will be used to determine consensus. Meetings will be capped at one hour to accommodate schedules and health status of CAC members unless otherwise discussed.

Participation: To accomplish the Community Advisory Committee’s objectives, full participation of each member is required. Each member serves a 1-year term. The CAC meets bimonthly, meetings are virtual. In-person participation is not required; we will be able to connect through the use of videoconferencing. One annual summative and planning meeting will be convened. Members can serve up to five successive 1-year terms.


Each CAC member will receive an honorarium of $400 for each annual term served.



The CAC application is available in Google forms. For additional questions, please contact Paul Newswanger via email at or phone at 212 342 3005.


Please do check out the application google form. Also, it is important to note that working groups can include participants that do not have to be part of the core CAC. A wide variety of experience and/or skills are being sought after and you do not have to be based in the USA to apply! 

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Columbia University Center for Infection and Immunity