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Role of the National Institutes of Health

The NIH has sponsored CFS research for many years and is committed both increasing the amount and quality of research in this area. However, it is only through the receipt and funding of meritorious research proposals that funding will increase. We have been working in this direction for several years. Through September 1999, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) held sole responsibility for research in this area.

In October 1999, Dr. Harold Varmus, in consultation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, recognized that a multidisciplinary and integrated approach encompassing the missions of many NIH ICs was necessary to address CFS, and incorporated responsibility into the Office of the Director (OD). Dr. Donna Dean was appointed to coordinate these efforts as well as the NIH response to a General Accounting Office (GAO) Report, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: CDC and NIH Activities are Diverse but Agency Coordination is Limited, (GAO/HEHS-00-98) through an NIH Working Group on CFS. She also served as the co-chair of the DHHS CFS Coordinating Committee (CFSCC). Under her direction, the ORWH sponsored a State of the Science Symposium for this committee in October 2000 (State of the Science Conference, October 23-24, 2000).

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