January 27, 2021

Research tools for ME/CFS-related data and biospecimens now available

Two new research tools developed by RTI International, the Data Management and Coordinating Center for the NIH-funded ME/CFS Collaborative Research Centers (CRCs) Network, are now available to help advance ME/CFS research by allowing researchers to access and share data and biospecimens.

mapMECFS is an online data sharing platform that allows researchers to discover, share, and access data from multi-omic studies. The platform was initially developed to support the ME/CFS Network CRCs that employ a variety of research methods (e.g., microbiome screens, RNA sequencing, mitochondrial assays, metabolomic assays) to identify potential biomarkers and study the underlying cause(s) of ME/CFS. mapMECFS allows researchers to search the contents of data sets across multiple studies, quickly compare results for specific molecules or markers of interest, and download relevant data to be used for exploration or validation studies. Additionally, mapMECFS encourages and facilitates sharing of new data by capturing key study metadata to make results easier to find.   

searchMECFS is an online, interactive search tool that allows researchers to query and request available biospecimens (e.g., DNA, RNA, urine, plasma, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells) based on specific demographic and clinical characteristics. The initial cohort, the Chronic Fatigue Initiative, was a research study supported by the Hutchins Family Foundation. Biospecimens and associated data were collected from 201 individuals with ME/CFS and 200 matched controls. The biospecimens are housed at BioSEND, NINDS’ biomarker repository at Indiana University, and the data are hosted by RTI International. Investigators may also request access to just the clinical data for analysis.  Additional cohorts’ biospecimens and datasets will be available in the future. Researchers who access biospecimens through searchMECFS will be able to upload the completed assay results into mapMECFS to make the information widely available to other investigators.

The development of these tools was supported by U24-NS105535 to RTI.

This page last reviewed on January 27, 2021