News from WPI  ~ Spring 2013 ~ Vol. 6 
May 12

International Awareness Day


May 22 and May 23 

Meeting of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee.  For more information click here.




September 13

8th Annual Gala

I Hope You Dance

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

I Hope You Dance Gala. For more information click here. 


March 20 - 23, 2014

11th IACFS/ME Biennial International Research and Clinical Conference co-sponsored by Stanford University-Translating Science into Clinical Care.  For more information click here.



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Whittemore Peterson Institute 
1664 N. Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557-0552

This has been a busy and productive year for WPI. 


We started off the year by welcoming Dr. De Meirleir to the institute to give a public lecture to educate the community about myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).  We were fortunate to have a world-renowned expert like Dr. De Meirleir travel to Reno to provide insight into the complexities of ME/CFS.  


To inform the public about the cutting-edge next generation sequencing equipment WPI acquired jointly with the University of Nevada, Reno, WPI co-hosted a reception and Dr. Lombardi and I appeared on a local television news show.  Next generation sequencing has fundamentally altered genomics research and allows investigators to conduct experiments that were previously not technically feasible or affordable.  WPI researchers have already implemented next generation sequencing in their search for novel pathogens and other genetic risk factors associated with particular diseases. 


As part of our outreach and fundraising efforts, we recently held a very successful wine tasting event.  It was a fun evening, and we look forward to hosting another tasting soon to continue to build community support for this important cause.  We also participated in Nevada's Big Give, which consisted of 24 hours of unprecedented nonprofit online giving, on one central website, in an effort to encourage Nevadans to give back to their community.  Currently, we are in the midst of planning our eighth annual I Hope You Dance gala, which is our major fundraising and outreach event, to be held on September 13, 2013.   


Finally, our team worked diligently to prepare our Annual Report, which provides a great deal of information about the institute's activities during 2012.  We invite you to read the Annual Report by clicking here.  The Annual Report is also available on our new and improved website, which we proudly launched earlier today.  We hope you find the revamped website informative and user-friendly.  


As International Awareness Day approaches on May 12, 2013, we would like to recognize all of the people across the world impacted by neuro-immune diseases such as ME/CFS, Gulf War illness, and fibromyalgia.  Please be assured that we will continue to work tirelessly to find answers to these chronic and debilitating diseases.   



Annette's Signature
Annette Whittemore
President and CEO
TOCDr. Kenny De Meirleir Gives ME Lecture at WPI
On January 28, 2013, Dr. Kenny De Meirleir presented a comprehensive lecture on the many factors that appear to play a role in the pathophysiology of ME. In support of his conclusions, he drew information from other well-known researchers in the field such as Drs. Chia, Klimas, Peterson, Mella, and Fluge, as well as his recent clinical studies of patients from Belgium and Norway.  After the one hour and fifteen minute presentation, interested patients, researchers, doctors, nurses, and medical students were given a chance to ask questions.  

To read the entire summary of the lecture, visit:  ME/CFS from Infectious Disease to Autoimmune Disorder  
Dr. De Meirleir, Annette Whittemore, Dr.Vincent Lombardi, and Dr. Kenneth Hunter gather after the event in the Atrium
Attendees gather in the David Lupan Auditorium prior to Dr. De Meirleir's presentation
TOCCResearch News
Svetlana Khaiboullina

Currently, Svetlana's research focuses on the pathogenesis of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). She is studying the role of cytokines and various immune cells in the pathogenesis of this complex disease.  She is working with Dr. Vincent Lombardi and numerous outside collaborators on research projects related to ME/CFS and other similar diseases.   Read Dr. Khaiboullina's most recent publication


Svetlana is from the region of Russia named Bashkortostan, which is located at the south region of the Ural Mountains (2 hour flight east from Moscow).



WPI continues to broaden its collaborative efforts with expert researchers from around the world.  This summer, WPI will engage in an exciting scientific exchange project with Kazan Federal University.  Dr. Vincent Lombardi and Dr. Svetlana Khaiboullina will travel to Russia in July to work directly with researchers at Kazan Federal University, sharing scientific skills and valuable resources.  Following the trip to Russia, Kazan Federal University scientists working on cutting-edge neurological disease research will travel to Reno to work in WPI's laboratories.  This extraordinary opportunity grew out of WPI's existing collaboration with researchers at Kazan Federal University and Kazan State Medical University, which resulted from a long-standing relationship between Dr. Albert A. Rizvanov, Chair, Department of Genetics, Kazan Federal University, and Dr. Khaiboullina.   Dr. Khaiboullina first met Dr. Rizvanov when he was working in Dr. Steve St. Jeor's lab at the University of Nevada, Reno, where Dr. Rizvanov received his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology. 


Read more about Dr. Rizvanov...




TOCCCNext Generation Sequencing
WPI and Nevada Genomics Center Unveil State of the Art Equipment

On January 29, 2013, WPI co-hosted a reception at the Nevada Genomics Center (NGC) in recognition of the acquisition of the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM) and the Proton Semiconductor Sequencers.  Dr. Marsha Read, Vice President for Research, and Dr. Gary Snowder, Associate Vice President for Research Services, from the University, joined Annette Whittemore, WPI President and CEO, and Dr. Vincent Lombardi, WPI Research Director, along with a number of other guests from the Reno community.   


In addition to a tour of the NGC facility, guests enjoyed a brief presentation by Dr. Kristina Kruse, NGC Operations Manager, who spoke about the importance of next generation sequencing technology to the University's research efforts.  At the conclusion of her talk, Dr. Kruse thanked WPI for choosing to place the expensive next generation sequencing equipment in the NGC for use by the state's entire research community.     

Dr. Gary Snowder, Dr. Kristina Kruse, Annette Whittemore, and Dr. Marsha Read at reception at the Genomics Center
Life Technologies Ion Torrent PGM Sequencer 
TOCCCCCEducation and Outreach
Nevada Newsmakers

One of WPI's goals is to educate the general public about the institute and the progress the institute is making towards solving critical questions about neuro-immune diseases.  In support of this goal, Annette Whittemore and Dr. Vincent Lombardi were guests on a local television show, Nevada Newsmakers, on March 6, 2013.  They discussed the importance of human genetic sequencing to the discovery of the underlying causes of disease with host Sam Shad.


Nevada Newsmakers provides up to date information on important events within the state of Nevada. Even though program segments are usually filmed in Reno, this informative show reaches an audience of about 70,000 people per month.  Mr. Shad serves of the board of directors for WPI.  He has a personal interest in neuro-immune diseases because his wife has suffered from fibromyalgia for over twenty years.



TOCCCCCCCCreating Community Awareness
WPI Wine Tasting
On April 19, 2013, supporters and friends "poured" into Ben's Fine Wine and Spirits for a Ferrari-Carano wine tasting to benefit WPI.  The popular event brought individuals from the local community together to enjoy great tasting wine in support of the work of the institute and those it serves.


During the event, Andrea Whittemore-Goad explained the difficulties of living with a neuro-immune disease, while a mother of another young woman with ME/CFS told the audience how much the institute's research efforts to find answers to her daughter's illness meant to her family.   


Guests enjoyed fabulous wine donated by Silver Legacy and Ben's, along with delicious food lovingly prepared and donated by the Goad family.  Throughout the evening, a variety of items were raffled and auctioned.  These items were graciously donated by the Carano family, Southern Wine & Spirits, Ben's, and several other friends of the institute.  We thank our community for making this an event to remember.   

Featured Ferrari-Carano wines

Guests enjoying the event

May 12th is International Awareness Day.  Please show your support for those impacted by neuro-immune diseases by wearing blue on Sunday, May 12, 2013.

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