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Severely ill Patient Study

The aim of the Severely Ill Patient Study (SIPS), which started in 2015, was to conduct a comprehensive “Big Data” analysis on severely ill ME/CFS patients in order to begin an exploration to find the molecular basis of ME/CFS.

  • Ronald W. Davis, PhD
  • Wenzhong Xiao, PhD

Over 1,000 tests have been conducted per patient, which is the largest (to our knowledge) dataset ever generated in any patient.

This large dataset has been made available online to all interested researchers in the ME/CFS Data Center at Stanford, with the purpose of inspiring research globally, eliminating duplication of effort, and building a collaborative network of scientists.


The hypothesis of the study was that molecular differences would show the strongest signal in severe cases of the illness when compared to healthy controls.


Lab technician analyzing numerous medical graphs on a computer display

Using samples of saliva, blood, urine and feces, this big data study examines the following:

  • Genome
  • Gene expression on individual immune cell types
  • Metabolomics
  • Microbiome
  • Cell-free DNA sequencing and quantitation
  • Cytokines
  • Clinical tests

The value of a study of this magnitude is that it provides a foundation of invaluable information to generate hypotheses and to develop diagnostics and treatments. Further, all samples from one patient are taken at one point in time, enabling all measurements to reflect exactly what was happening in the body at that one time point. This allows the possibility for the discovery of biomarkers involving the relationships between different body systems that would not ordinarily be found.

Read the OMF funded research publication:

A Comprehensive Examination of Severely Ill ME/CFS Patients.


Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia Leading Research. Delivering Hope.Open Medicine Foundation®

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