Karina Wagenpfeil

Scientist turned disability and chronic illness activist

Karina graduated from Brandeis University with a B.S. in biology and neuroscience and an M.S. in biology in 2016. She fought her way to graduation despite developing a debilitating neuroimmune disease, chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), after a bought of mononucleosis at the beginning of her junior year. Having been accepted into an early assurance program after her sophomore year of college, she was set to start medical school in the fall of 2016. Her illness has prevented her from attending medical school at this time. She refuses to accept the phrase uttered by so many of her doctors, that “there is no treatment” for CFS/ME. She hopes to increase awareness and give other patients resources to better understand their condition and communicate their needs to family and friends. More of her work can be found on her blog, Chronically Karina, where she also compiles scientific ideas and theories regarding chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis. She loves all things science and medical research-related and is most at peace in nature with her camera slung around her neck.

Got a tip?

Do you have info to share with HuffPost reporters? Here’s how.