Annette Whittemore

CEO, Board President & Co-Founder

Annette Whittemore is a co-founder and CEO of Nevada Center for Biomedical Research. She is also President of NVCBR’s board of directors. As President and CEO, Annette oversees the operation of the center and is responsible for creating, communicating, and implementing the center’s overall vision, mission, and goals.  Her vision, along with that of her co-founders, was to create the first bench to bedside medical research center dedicated to finding answers for those who suffer from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) and similar complex neuro-immune diseases.  Their combined efforts resulted in the creation of NVCBR within the Center for Molecular Medicine at the University of Nevada, Reno.

In addition to her leadership role at the center, Annette has remained a vocal advocate for disease awareness and research funding at state and national levels and has spoken at several international medical research conferences.

The University of Nevada, Reno selected Annette as Alumna of the Year in 2008 and awarded her with an honorary Doctor of Letters in 2009.

Annette feels blessed to share her life with her husband, five adult children and their spouses, and eight grandchildren.  She loves the outdoors, hiking, boating, playing sports, and reading whenever time allows.


Carli West Kinne

Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary

Carli Kinne is vice president, general counsel, and secretary.  In addition to serving on the executive team and handling all legal matters, Carli manages NVCBR’s sponsored projects, technology transfer, corporate compliance, communication, and human resources functions.

Before joining NVCBR, Carli was in-house counsel for a management company, providing legal counsel to companies involved in a variety of industries, and served as judicial clerk to Nevada Supreme Court Justice Robert Rose.  Carli received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Seattle University School of Law, and her B.A., with distinction, from University of Nevada, Reno.

Carli is passionate about health and wellness and enjoys exercising by chasing around her two children and going to the gym.


Kellen Jones

Study Coordinator & Office Manager

Kellen Jones brings more than 20 years of administrative experience across diverse industries to her role as study coordinator and office manager.  Kellen is responsible for many day-to-day functions of NVCBR including AR/AP, customer service, donor relations, event planning, graphic design, website maintenance, social media, and all others areas of administrative support.  As the study coordinator, Kellen communicates with study participants and works directly with the principal investigator to ensure compliance with the protocol.

Kellen worked with NVCBR on a volunteer basis beginning in 2006 and became a valued employee in 2010.  Previous to NVCBR, Kellen worked for more than 15 years as an administrative services manager, first, for a civil engineering firm and, then, for a land management company.

Kellen attended University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College. In her free time, Kellen enjoys cooking, spending time with her family, and the outdoors.


Kenny De Meirleir, M.D., Ph.D.

Medical Director

Kenny De Meirleir, M.D., Ph.D., is an avid physician researcher with expertise in treating patients with ME/CFS and other chronic neuro-immunological diseases. As Medical Director, Dr. De Meirleir provides essential medical and research expertise and clinical support to NVCBR. Dr. De Meirleir has published extensively in various medical journals and co-authored a book on ME/CFS titled, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Biological Approach.

Dr. De Meirleir maintains an international medical practice in addition to his medical practice in Reno. In addition to his research and medical activities, Dr. De Meirleir recently retired from Free University of Belgium where he was a professor since 1985. Dr. De Meirleir earned his medical degree from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 1977 and went on to complete an internal medicine residency in the Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Lisa Pavitt



Jim Harris is responsible for the day-to-day accounting functions for WPI.  Jim is a retired Certified Public Accountant with over 30 years of experience in public accounting and as a CFO for a local development company.  Jim graduated from California State University at Chico in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in finance, and holds a Master Degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University.

Dean Laslo


Dean Laslo has more than 21 years of IT experience ranging from manufacturing to automation.  Dean is responsible for maintaining WPI’s computers and network.

Dean has worked for WPI since 2006.  In addition to WPI Dean works full-time at the Barnes and Noble Reno Distribution Center as an IT System Support Analyst.

Dean attended Truckee Meadows Community College and has obtained many IT certifications.  In his spare time he enjoys craft beers, gaming, and spending time with his wife and two children.

Vincent C. Lombardi, Ph.D.

Research Director

Vincent C. Lombardi, PhD, began his work in ME/CFS in 1992, characterizing T-cell populations in ME/CFS patients, in collaboration with Dr. Daniel Peterson. He later continued his ME/CFS research in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Suhadolnik at Temple University, studying the interferon-regulated RNase L antiviral pathway and its involvement in ME/CFS. Dr. Lombardi completed his graduate degree at the University of Nevada, Reno, receiving his PhD in biochemistry in 2005. The primary focus of his PhD thesis was the isolation and characterization of novel diuretic neuropeptides. In addition to his academic research, Dr. Lombardi has also developed specialty clinical diagnostic tools in collaboration with eminent ME/CFS physicians such as Dr. Kenny De Meirleir. These diagnostic tests have helped ME/CFS physicians identify and treat areas of deficiency.

Upon joining NVCBR in July 2007, Dr. Lombardi’s research efforts focused on the inflammatory component of ME/CFS with a special emphasis on the interferon response.

As the leader of NVCBR’s research team, Dr. Lombardi continues to focus his research efforts in neuro-immune diseases and the innate immune system, including potential pathogens, with a focus on the innate immune response in the interferon system.


  • Bachelor of Arts in Science with an emphasis in Biology, Sierra Nevada College, Incline Village, Nevada, May 1995 magna cum laude
  • Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, PhD candidate July 1998 – December 1998
  • University of Nevada, Reno, NV, PhD Biochemistry Spring 2000 – 2006


  • Mathematical Modeling
  • Molecular Modeling
  • Biostatistics
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Spectroscopy
  • Protein Purification: Assay Development, HPLC method development 
  • Virology/Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Diagnostics
  • Project Management
  • Molecular Biology
  • MSDS and Safety Officer
  • Protein Chemistry


  • 2011 – present Director of Research, Nevada Center for Biomedical Research, Reno, NV
  • 2011 – 2015 Director of Operations, Unevx Clinical Laboratory, Reno, NV
  • 2010 – 2011 Director of Basic Research, Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease, Reno, NV, Research Focus: Interferon Response in ME/CFS
  • 2006 – present Assistant Clinical Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pathology, University of Nevada, Reno, NV
  • 2007 – 2010 Postdoctoral Fellow, Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease, Reno, NV, Research focus: Cytokine and Chemokine Response in ME/CFS
  • 2004 – 2009 Director of Operations, Lead Scientist for Product Development, Redlabs, USA, Reno, NV
  • 2001 – 2005 Graduate Student, Doctoral Candidate, University of Nevada, Reno NV (David Schooley, PI)
  • 1999 – 2000 Graduate Student, Doctoral Candidate, Temple University Philidelphia, PA (Robert Suhadolnik, PI)
  • 1992 – 1999 President, Casa Bella Holdings, Inc., Investment Banker, Crystal Bay NV
  • 1983 – 1992 Executive Vice President, Securities Trader, Securities Broker, General Principle, Options and Futures Principle, Commodities Principle, Managed 37 Securities Brokers (Series 3, 4, 7, 24 and 63 Securities Licenses)
  • JP Michael Securities, Burbank, CA, Osborne Securities, Los Angeles, CA, Toluca Pacific Securities, Crystal Bay, NV


  • Eli Lilly Poster Award – Protein Society Meeting
  • Salutatorian, Sierra Nevada College 1995
  • Outstanding Science Student of Graduating Class 1995
  • General Motors Liberal Arts Excellent Awards Program 1993
  • CRC Academic Award 1994


  • 2008 – Present: International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research


  • Lombardi, Vincent C, Schooley, David A: Method for selective conjugation of analytes to enzymes without unwanted enzyme-enzyme cross-linking. University And Community College System Of May, 30 2003: WO 2003/043978


  • CD-4/CD-8 Rations in Chronic Fatigue and AIDS Patients, American Mathematical Society Conference (Invited Speaker), University of Oregon, 1993
  • Cytokine and Chemokine Signatures in CFS Patients, AAFCF Annual Conference (Invited Speaker), Reno, NV, 2007


  1. Decreased Numbers of CD57+CD3- Cells Identify Potential Innate Immune Differences in Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    Siniscalco D, Mijatovic T, Bosmans E, Cirillo A, Kruzliak P, Lombardi VC, DE Meirleir K, Antonucci N.
    In Vivo. 2016 03-04;30(2):83-89.
  2. Genome-wide association analysis identifies genetic variations in subjects with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.
    Schlauch KA, Khaiboullina SF, De Meirleir KL, Rawat S, Petereit J, Rizvanov AA, Blatt N, Mijatovic T, Kulick D, Palotás A, Lombardi VC.
    Transl Psychiatry. 2016 Feb 9;6:e730. doi: 10.1038/tp.2015.208.
  3. Gut-Associated Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Display an Immature Phenotype and Upregulated Granzyme B in Subjects with HIV/AIDS.
    Boichuk SV, Khaiboullina SF, Ramazanov BR, Khasanova GR, Ivanovskaya KA, Nizamutdinov EZ, Sharafutdinov MR, Martynova EV, DeMeirleir KL, Hulstaert J, Anokhin VA, Rizvanov AA, Lombardi VC.
    Front Immunol. 2015 Sep 24;6:485. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00485. eCollection 2015.
  4. Multiplex Analysis of Serum Cytokines in Humans with Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome.
    Morzunov SP, Khaiboullina SF, St Jeor S, Rizvanov AA, Lombardi VC.
    Front Immunol. 2015 Aug 31;6:432. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00432. eCollection 2015.
  5. CCL27: Novel Cytokine with Potential Role in Pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis.
    Khaiboullina SF, Gumerova AR, Khafizova IF, Martynova EV, Lombardi VC, Bellusci S, Rizvanov AA.
    Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:189638. doi: 10.1155/2015/189638. Epub 2015 Jul 29.
  6. Differential immuno-reactivity to genomic DNA, RNA and mitochondrial DNA is associated with auto-immunity.
    Ivanova VV, Khaiboullina SF, Cherenkova EE, Martynova EV, Nevzorova TA, Kunst MA, Sibgatullin TB, Maksudova AN, Oliveira PJ, Lombardi VC, Palotás A, Rizvanov AA.
    Cell Physiol Biochem. 2014;34(6):2200-8. doi: 10.1159/000369663. Epub 2014 Dec 4.
  7. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells, a role in neoplastic prevention and progression.
    Lombardi VC, Khaiboullina SF, Rizvanov AA.
    Eur J Clin Invest. 2015 Jan;45 Suppl 1:1-8. doi: 10.1111/eci.12363. Review.
  8. Cytokine expression provides clues to the pathophysiology of Gulf War illness and myalgic encephalomyelitis.
    Khaiboullina SF, DeMeirleir KL, Rawat S, Berk GS, Gaynor-Berk RS, Mijatovic T, Blatt N, Rizvanov AA, Young SG, Lombardi VC.
    Cytokine. 2015 Mar;72(1):1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2014.11.019. Epub 2014 Dec 13.
  9. Inflammatory cytokines kinetics define the severity and phase of nephropathia epidemica.
    Baigildina AA, Khaiboullina SF, Martynova EV, Anokhin VA, Lombardi VC, Rizvanov AA.
    Biomark Med. 2015;9(2):99-107. doi: 10.2217/bmm.14.88. Epub 2014 Oct 14.
  10. Upregulation of IFN-γ and IL-12 is associated with a milder form of hantavirus hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome.
    Khaiboullina SF, Martynova EV, Khamidullina ZL, Lapteva EV, Nikolaeva IV, Anokhin VV, Lombardi VC, Rizvanov AA.
    Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2014 Dec;33(12):2149-56. doi: 10.1007/s10096-014-2176-x. Epub 2014 Jun 19.
  11. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells of the gut: relevance to immunity and pathology.
    Lombardi VC, Khaiboullina SF.
    Clin Immunol. 2014 Jul;153(1):165-77. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2014.04.007. Epub 2014 Apr 24. Review.
  12. Human dendritic cells transfected with a human papilloma virus-18 construct display decreased mobility and upregulated cytokine production.
    Khaiboullina SF, Morzunov SP, Hall MR, De Meirleir KL, Rizvanov AA, Lombardi VC.
    Int J Oncol. 2013 Nov;43(5):1701-9. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2013.2074. Epub 2013 Aug 21.
  13. Death-domain associated protein-6 (DAXX) mediated apoptosis in hantavirus infection is counter-balanced by activation of interferon-stimulated nuclear transcription factors.
    Khaiboullina SF, Morzunov SP, Boichuk SV, Palotás A, St Jeor S, Lombardi VC, Rizvanov AA.
  14. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells in the duodenum of individuals diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis are uniquely immunoreactive to antibodies to human endogenous retroviral proteins.
    De Meirleir KL, Khaiboullina SF, Frémont M, Hulstaert J, Rizvanov AA, Palotás A, Lombardi VC.
    In Vivo. 2013 Mar-Apr;27(2):177-87.
  15. Andes-virus-induced cytokine storm is partially suppressed by ribavirin.
    Khaiboullina SF, Rizvanov AA, Lombardi VC, Morzunov SP, Reis HJ, Palotás A, St Jeor S.
    Antivir Ther. 2013;18(4):575-84. doi: 10.3851/IMP2524. Epub 2013 Jan 8.
  16. Presence and activity of a Dippu-DH31-like peptide in the blood-feeding bug, Rhodnius prolixus.
    Te Brugge VA, Lombardi VC, Schooley DA, Orchard I.
    Peptides. 2005 Jan;26(1):29-42. Erratum in: Peptides. 2005 Jul;26(7):1283.
  17. A method for selective conjugation of an analyte to enzymes without unwanted enzyme-enzyme cross-linking.
    Lombardi VC, Schooley DA.
    Anal Biochem. 2004 Aug 1;331(1):40-5.