Zaher Nahle, PhD, MPA, is a Lebanese-American scientist and executive with interdisciplinary training in administration and biomedical research. He previously served as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Vice President for Research at Solve ME/CFS Initiative (SMCI). He is now Chief Executive Officer of the Arthritis National Research Foundation, ANRF (www.Curearthritis.org).
Education[edit | edit source]
- Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from American University of Beirut (1995)
- Master in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (2013)
- PhD in physiology and biophysics from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Stony Brook University (2003)
- Post-doctoral fellowships at both Harvard and StonyBrook (2003-04)
Career[edit | edit source]
In the first part of his career, Dr. Nahle served as an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and founded a nonprofit organization focused on the disability agenda with a classmate while studying at Harvard.
From June 2015 to February 2018, Dr. Nahle served as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Vice President for Research at Solve ME/CFS Initiative (SMCI) where he oversaw a research and scientific portfolio that included a peer-review grant program for external investigators, specialized biobanking and patient registry platforms as well as numerous medical education initiatives for patients and healthcare professionals. He also directed a specialized investment program with medical centers, government agencies and industry partners to accelerate the discovery process in the ME/CFS research.
He is now Chief Executive Officer of the Arthritis National Research Foundation, ANRF (www.Curearthritis.org). ANRF has earned a four-star (i.e. top) rating from Charity Navigator nine years in a row, and is dedicated to funding innovative research to understand the causes of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, juvenile arthritis, fibromyalgia and related autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.
Dr. Nahle often speaks at international conferences and serves on committees at US federal agencies, including the NIH and the CDC. His background includes cancer biology, high-throughput technologies, diabetes, and ME/CFS. His work is featured in journals like Science and Nature. He was an awardee of the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) and a Mason fellow at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Department of Defense Breast Cancer Fellowship Award - Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (2000)
- American Heart Association (AHA) career development award BGIA - Outstanding score (2008)
- National Priorities Research Program - Qatar Foundation (2010)
- American Cancer Society (ACS) Scholar (pay if) - Outstanding score (2011)
- Harvard Kennedy School Scholarship (2013)
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation PEER White Label Award - for the establishment and implementation of a national Patient Registry and Electronic Health Information (EHI) system for ME/CFS (2016) 
National committees and advocacy[edit | edit source]
- October 2016 - present – Member ofCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Technical Development Working Group
- January 2017 - present – Member of the Baseline/Covariate Working Group and the Neurologic/Cognitive/CNS Imaging Working Group of the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Common Data Element (CDE) Project sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This working group reviewed data collection instruments widely used by investigators in the ME/CFS field, and either recommended their use unchanged or (more often) proposed some modifications.
- 8 March 2017 – Written Public Testimony from the Solve ME/CFS Initiative to the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor Health & Human Services
- 17 May 2017 – Rare Disease Legislative Advocates (RDLA), EveryLife Foundation legislative meeting in Washington, DC – Ensuring NIH Funding Benefits Science and Discovery in Rare and Neglected Diseases
- 18 May 2017 – Congressional Briefing on ME/CFS - Recording of Congressional Briefing on ME/CFS - (Slides of briefing)
- Aug 2019, Editorial: Advances in ME/CFS Research and Clinical Care - (Full text)
Interviews & Talks[edit | edit source]
- 19 November 2015 – “Get Your Motor Running” – Zaher Nahle Takes on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by Cort Johnson
- 15 December 2016 – Solve ME/CFS Initiative Webinar - Progress and Challenges in ME/CFS with Zaher Nahle, PhD, MPA
- 25 January 2017 – Session Chair at the 2017 Precision Medicine World Conference in Silicon Valley – Topic: ME/CFS: The Mysterious Illness Science Has Yet to Unravel
- 24 May 2017 – Speaker at the Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) 2017 at Duke - Topic: ME/CFS: The Mysterious Illness Science Has Yet to Unravel
- 31 May 2017 – Speaker at the 7th Invest in ME Biomedical Research into ME Colloquium in London – Biomarkers in ME/CFS
- 14 October 2017 – Convener of the Solve ME/CFS Initiative Discovery Forum 2017: A New Era in ME/CFS Research – Editorial Letter from Dr. Nahle and Presentation Summaries from the Discovery Forum
- 17 October 2017 – White House Chronicle with Llewellyn King - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: a disease hidden in plain sight
Open Letter to The Lancet[edit | edit source]
Two open letters to the editor of The Lancet urged the editor to commission a fully independent review of the PACE trial, which the journal had published in 2011. In 2016, Dr. Nahle, along with 41 colleagues in the ME/CFS field, signed the second letter.
- 10 February 2016, An open letter to The Lancet, again - Virology blog
Blog Posts and Editorials (selected)[edit | edit source]
2015[edit | edit source]
- Winter 2015 Chronicle, Overcoming the Challenges of a Complex Disease
- 4 December 2015, SMCI Research 1st Letter
- 14 September 2015, Did Darwin Have ME/CFS?
- 21 August 2015, I Thought It Was a Typo…
- 7 August 2015, SMCI Research 1st Letter
2016[edit | edit source]
- 16 December 2016, SMCI Research 1st Letter
- 11 November 2016, SMCI Research 1st Letter
- 16 September 2016, SMCI Research 1st Letter
- 12 August 2016, SMCI Research 1st Letter
- 6 May 2016, SMCI Research 1st Letter
- 15 April 2016, SMCI Research 1st Letter
- 9 February 2016, SMCI Research 1st Letter
2017[edit | edit source]
- 21 September 2017, SMCI Research 1st Letter
- 19 July 2017, SMCI Research 1st Letter
- 14 April 2017, SMCI Research 1st Letter
- Spring 2017 SMCI Chronicle, 7 Research Lessons from the Lab Bench of Dr. Nahle
- 10 February 2017, SMCI Research 1st Letter
2018[edit | edit source]
Online presence[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- "Best Charities | Transparency and Accountability". Arthritis Research | Arthritis National Research Foundation. Retrieved Jan 30, 2019.
- "Complete Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CDE Roster". NIH. Retrieved Oct 11, 2019.
- Friedman, Kenneth; Bateman, Lucinda; Bested, Alison C.; Nahle, Zaher (Aug 2019). "Editorial: Advances in ME/CFS Research and Clinical Care". Frontiers in Pediatrics. doi:10.3389/fped.2019.00370.
- Johnson, Cort (Nov 19, 2015). ""Get Your Motor Running" - Zaher Nahle Takes on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". Health Rising. Retrieved Sep 3, 2019.
- "ME/CFS: The Mysterious Illness Science Has Yet to Unravel Session Chair: Zaher Nahle, Solve ME/CFS Initiative". PMWC Precision Medicine World Conference. Retrieved Sep 3, 2019.
- "ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Takes Center Stage on First Afternoon of Personalized Medicine World Conference (PMWC) 2017 at Duke | www.bioquicknews.com". www.bioquicknews.com. Retrieved Sep 3, 2019.
- "ME/CFS: The Mysterious Illness Science Has Yet to Unravel Session Chair: Zaher Nahle, Solve ME/CFS Initiative". Precision Medicine World Conference 2017 Duke. Retrieved Sep 3, 2019.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: a disease hidden in plain sight | White House Chronicle, retrieved Sep 3, 2019
cognition - Thought processes, including attention, reasoning, and memory.
central nervous system (CNS) - One of the two parts of the human nervous system, the other part being the peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord, while the peripheral nervous system consists of nerves that travel from the central nervous system into the various organs and tissues of the body.
myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.