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Cocchetto Named as Medical Director for the National CFIDS Foundation

     The National CFIDS Foundation, Inc. of Needham, Massachusetts, is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Alan Cocchetto to the position of Medical Director for its national non-profit patient organization. Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)and, more appropriately, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), affects one million people in the United States. Professor Cocchetto is currently on medical leave due to ME/CFS.

     Alan Cocchetto received his B.S. degree from Purdue University, in 1979, and his M.S. degree from Villanova University, in 1983, both in Electrical Engineering. He has been with the Electrical Engineering Technology Department at State University of New York (SUNY) at Alfred, as an Associate Professor, since 1986, serving as Curriculum Coordinator for the Electromechanical Engineering Technology A.S. and B.S. degree programs. Prior to his professorship, he held several positions as a Senior Design Engineer employed in the areas of research and development as well as new product design working for companies that have included Electronic Associates Inc. of Eatontown, N.J., Physical Acoustics Corporation of Princeton, N.J., and Teleco Oilfield Services Division of Sonat Inc. of Meriden, Ct. His professional expertise includes analog and digital circuit design, signal processing, and control systems analysis and design.

     While at SUNY, Professor Cocchetto received several awards including Teacher of the Year Award in 1989, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1991, and the NISOD Excellence in Teaching Award given by the University of Texas at Austin in 1992. In 1993, he was the recipient of a National Science Foundation Matching Engineering Grant, for $230,000, for the "Design of a Laboratory for Instrumentation, Data Acquisition, and Control Systems Analysis." He has served as an engineering consultant to regional companies and successfully operated his own consulting firm. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honorary.

     Since being diagnosed with ME/CFS, he has been active in CORA: CFIDS of Rochester Advocates in Rochester, N.Y. and has written numerous patient articles about various scientific and medical issues regarding ME/CFS. His testimony, on intellectual property patents and CFS, was read before the U.S. Surgeon General in 1998. In addition, he has been a speaker at several regional CFS conferences including the NJCFSA Conference in Eatontown, N.J. in 1999 and at the Common Cause Conference in Rochester, N.Y. in 2000.

     Since volunteering for the National CFIDS Foundation, Professor Cocchetto has been a frequent contributor to the Foundation's National Forum Newsletter and was instrumental in formulating and coordinating their Research Grant Program. Prior to volunteering with the Foundation, he was one of the first ME/CFS patients tested for active HHV-6A infection in the U.S. This subsequently led the Foundation to begin funding researchers in the field and ultimately to the organization of its current research grant program.

     Among the major studies Professor Cocchetto has been involved with include: In-Vitro Testing of Antivirals for HHV-6A/B Infections; Relationships Between Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Type II (HTLV-2) and Human Lymphotropic Herpesviruses in CFS; the Role of the Ciguatoxin Epitope in CFS; and the Role of the STAT1 Protein in CFS.

     Professor Cocchetto is perhaps most noted for his scientific evaluations of intellectual property rights and patents using evidence-based medical techniques as it applies to CFS. He has been published in several peer-reviewed medical journals including the Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the Journal of Toxicology, and the Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis. His work with Dr. Yoshitsugi Hokama, from the University of Hawaii, was presented at the International Symposium on Toxins and Natural Products, in Okinawa, Japan in 2002.

     In a recent Foundation interview Professor Cocchetto stated that "By focusing on cellular signaling and feedback methodology, disease mechanisms for ME/CFS are emerging and this is very exciting and long overdue. Fortunately for me, electrical engineering and cell biology have much in common. As such, I'm greatful to the Foundation for this opportunity to support the patient community now as Medical Director."

     The National CFIDS Foundation is the largest, all volunteer, and fastest growing non-profit CFIDS organization in the U.S. Founded in 1997, the Foundation is unique because there are no paid staff positions and all donations directly support its ongoing research efforts to conquer the disease.

The National CFIDS Foundation * 103 Aletha Rd, Needham Ma 02492 * (781) 449-3535 Fax (781) 449-8606