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Ekua Brenu receives Junior Investigator Research Award for CFS/ME

October 20, 2011

Bond University Scientists unlocking secrets to Chronic Fatigue

Bond University PhD student, Ekua Brenu, was recently awarded the Junior Investigator Research Award for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from the International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (IACFS/ME) in Ottawa, Canada.

The award was part of the 10th International Clinical and Research Conference of the IACFS/ME, bringing together world experts in the field.

Ms Brenu said the award was recognition for the strong scientific advancements that she and lead researcher Dr Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik, were making in identifying CFS/ME biomarkers.

“It is exciting about the progress we've made to date and this award recognises Bond University’s place as a world leader in immunological research for CFS/ME,” said Ms Brenu.

Dr Marshall-Gradisnik said figures suggest up to 180, 000 Australians suffer from CFS with only 16% of these people being properly diagnosed and receiving adequate treatment.

“Our research will help in the early detection of CFS, potential screening as well as the pathology, where we understand how people contract the disease,” said Dr Marshall-Gradisnik.

CFS is characterised by severe fatigue and an inability to function at optimal levels, however, diagnosis is a lengthy, complicated process involving the systematic elimination of other disorders, during which time sufferers often face years of uncertainty and ill health.

Dr Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik, said Queensland Government Smart State funding has enabled them to advance their research and facilitated international collaboration with the Stanford University, Gene Technology Centre.

“The State Government’s contribution provided a platform for us to secure additional funding from the Mason Foundation and the Alison Hunter Memorial Foundation.

“To date we’ve received three separate grants from the Mason Foundation and are currently shortlisted for their latest $1 million funding round which will be announced in the coming weeks,” said Dr Marshall-Gradisnik.

To date the Queensland Government’s $3.6 billion investment in research and development and innovation in the State has resulted in 39 new research institutes and more than 230 research-related projects, research scholarships and fellowships.