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We chose the Tiger, a natural killer, as our logo because one of the first scientific benchmarks of M.E. and CFS was the fact that patients lacked active natural killer cells, an essential part of the immune system. 

We chose Nightingale as our name in honour of Florence Nightingale (1820 - 1910), who fell ill with an infectious disease that was indistinguishable from the M.E. and CFS family of illnesses. Despite the fact that she was bed-ridden for most of the rest of her life, she continued to learn more about infectious diseases, to improve nursing education and hospital administration and to publish over 200 books, reports and articles on these matters.  Disability does not mean the end to a useful life - we called our foundation Nightingale since many sufferers of M.E. and CFS typify the courage and dedication of Florence Nightingale and continue to live their lives under enormous disabilities.

The Nightingale Research Foundation (NRF) is located in Ottawa, Canada. The Foundation was founded by Dr. Byron Hyde  in 1988, and incorporated as a charitable organization in the same year, to explore and understand Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (M.E. and CFS) and fibromyalgia-type illnesses. Since its inception, NRF has provided technical assistance to physicians, nurses, other health care professionals and researchers, as well as information to help and encourage thousands of North Americans who are patients or have family disabled by M.E. or CFS. The Foundation is known internationally for its dedication to research and rigorous medical investigation of M.E. and CFS disabled patients throughout its history.

Our Mandate

The Nightingale Research Foundation today continues to pioneer analytical research projects into the symptoms and conditions of M.E. and CFS across its patient database. The Foundation works collaboratively with other research networks world-wide. Its mandate is:

  1. To conduct patient-based investigations and research directed toward the definition and understanding of the underlying and potentially treatable causes of these diseases.

  2. To promote public awareness and understanding of the diseases and advance technical data collection, diagnostic procedures and multidisciplinary research.

  3. To support and encourage public education in this discipline.

  4. Provide medical legal investigations to assist patients in obtaining Disability Pensions.


The Foundation is guided by the advice of a Board of Directors, chaired by Dr. Byron Hyde. Board members are elected annually and supported by a team of dedicated volunteers. The majority of NRF’s activities are directed by Dr. Byron Hyde and involve in-depth technological investigations of a patient through total body mapping of all systems and organs to provide a more exact understanding of the nature and complexity of the M.E. and CFS patients’ total being.  Today, the Foundation concentrates on individual case research as well as physician, legal and research consultations, Canadian and international public speaking engagements and technical/expert support for medical M.E. and CFS initiatives.

The Foundation is structured to operate with minimal overhead and operating costs and its annual business approach is goal oriented. The primary outputs are research, technical publications and public information. In addition, the Foundation has provided upon request interpretive data on M.E. and CFS to health care professionals, teachers' federations, labour unions, governments and the courts. The separate physical premises for the Foundation were closed in 1993, with the administrative support being transferred to Dr. Hyde’s medical offices in Ottawa, Ontario.

Over the years, each of its various projects has been supported by separate fundraising campaigns. Most funding in the early years came from business entities and various philanthropic organizations in Canada, the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom. Since 2000, its activities have been largely funded by the continued generosity of patients and supporters of the Nightingale Research Foundation.

NRF governs itself by Ontario privacy legislation and Canada's Federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and is guided by its professional commitment to the highest analytical research standards in all its activities. Each year since 1988, the Chairman’s annual report to the Board of Directors has highlighted new developments domestically and internationally in its progress in understanding these illnesses, and Nightingale’s projected work plan for the following year. The Chairman’s annual report and audited financial statements are distributed to its supporters and are available upon request.

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