Who We Are

About Us

DysImmune Research Aotearoa (previously Post-Viral Research Aotearoa) was founded in 2022 by a group of researchers and patients who understand the urgency and importance of expediting quality research into Infection-associated chronic conditions such as Long Covid and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

We strive to shed light on these poorly understood diseases and work towards diagnosis, treatment and recovery

It has taken a pandemic-scale virus for many to finally take a largely neglected area of research and medicine seriously, but much is still not understood about how infections affect our health. With the pandemic response now over, SARS-CoV2 continues to spread globally with few mitigations in place. We now live in a world that wants to “move on from Covid”, despite the known risks from infection. These risks not only include development of Long Covid following infection, they also include the risk of exacerbation or worsening of symptoms for those already living with ME/CFS and Long Covid. Effective treatments are urgent!

Our principal investigator Dr. Anna Brooks has quickly become the nation’s leading voice on this subject, and is a committed and passionate advocate for science communication and public engagement. She regularly participates in public lectures, interviews, and social media outreach to promote scientific literacy and raise awareness of these illnesses and their impact on individuals, and the importance of continued research in this field.

Despite the widespread attention and the enormous economic and human cost, research and funding lags drastically behind what is necessary to advance scientific understanding and find solutions. We aim to change this!

Our Research

Research continues to demonstrate the similarities between the symptoms following COVID-19 illness and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). However, efforts to understand disease mechanisms are only just emerging, and funding, specifically for biomedical research, has been difficult to obtain. Unlike other countries, here in Aotearoa, there has been no government commissioned funding for biomedical research in the effor to better understand the long term impacts of COVID-19 infection, including, Long Covid.

The core principle of our research approach is to characterise immune dysfunction associated with these diseases which can occur following infection.

Dr Brooks is leading a study, while also contributing to collaborations, to establish a suite of specialised immune cell and blood protein tests to investigate immune dysfunction. These studies aim to identify specific biomarkers within post-infection illnesses that can then lead to developing diagnostics and treatments.

A key principle of our approach has been to partner with people with lived-experience of infection-associated syndromes, with the aim to build reciprocal relationships and better understand the priorities of those impacted, including ensuring equitable representation and engagement with Mãori and Pasifika participants.

Our patient-centred partnerships and international collaborations transcend geographic borders, bringing together diverse expertise and resources to accelerate progress towards understanding and managing Long Covid and ME/CFS. By sharing knowledge and findings effectively, we strive to ensure that the benefits of our combinded research efforts reach impacted communities globally, including within our own communities.

We are aimiing to secure funding and push forward biomedical research in these areas.