Patient Stories

In certain individuals, infections can trigger an autoimmune response, resulting in symptoms which mimic various psychiatric and behavioral disorders.

Sunny’s Story

In 2nd grade, my son developed a strep infection and several illnesses including the flu. Shortly afterwards, he began having tics, emotional lability, anger and rage. He had to be homeschooled.



My son was in 2nd grade, was developing normally.

Unfortunately, he had had a series of illnesses. Within a year, he had a strep throat infection,

Influenza at a weird time of the year. And he had pneumonia a few times. After that, I noticed a few things with his knuckles. He kept popping his knuckles. It seemed like a tic.

But then he had an abrupt onset of obsessive compulsive behaviors. He had a significant fear that he was going to die, which was completely out of character for him. That lasted a couple of days and then all of a sudden he started ticking, having these uncontrollable movements. And when I say uncontrollable movements, I’m speaking of about 100 tics in an hour. And he was damaging his neck because he was ticking so hard with his neck.

We started to see some very significant emotional lability. And anger and outbursts and rage, which was very atypical for our son. And at first it was just at home, these explosions. But then they started to affect his school life. We had to pull him from school for some time.

Of course we were alarmed as could be. We’re trying to get to the bottom of what might be causing this. And we are so grateful that we had a physician, who we reached out to, a neuropsychiatrist.

We were able to get the Cunningham Panel pretty early on in his onset. A couple weeks later, I received notice that those results were published and my physician went over them with me. And it was remarkable results, in that it showed there was neurologic autoimmunity and very likely, an underlying infection.

We knew he had recovered from his illnesses. That’s when the abrupt onset of symptoms happened. But he didn’t have a fever. He wasn’t presenting like a sick child.

But with the Cunningham Panel we were really able to identify that he had these circulating levels of autoantibodies and ultimately, we were able to understand that he had a mycoplasma infection. He had pneumonia, which appeared to be an active infection.

My physician thought we should treat the underlying infection, which we knew now was mycoplasma pneumonia. So they treated him with antibiotics.

Slowly we started to see some recovery.

The antibiotics helped quickly with the tics. But we started to understand his immune dysfunction. Along with the Cunningham Panel, there were some immune markers that were elevated as well.

And so we started to see that it was the result of infection but we also had to treat his immune system.

Thankfully he responded very well to some easier immune treatments. And once we treated the infection and the immune system and then we started to treat the underlying inflammation, that’s when we saw a complete recovery.

I’m grateful we were able to get diagnosed, in part using the Cunningham Panel, and also some pathogen labs. And that really changed the course of our treatment. And really changed the course of our family and his health.

B. Robert Mozayeni, MD

Medical and Clinical Advisor

B. Robert Mozayeni MD

Dr. B. Robert Mozayeni was trained in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology at Yale and at NIH. He has had pre- and post-doctoral Fellowships in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale, and also at NIH where he was a Howard Hughes Research Scholar at LMB/DCBD/NCI and later, Senior Staff Fellow at LMMB/NHLBI/NIH. Editorial board of Infectious Diseases – Surveillance, Prevention and Treatment. Past President of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS).

He is an expert in Translational Medicine, the science and art of advancing medical science safely and efficiently. He is a Fellow of the non-profit Think Lead Innovate Foundation and is a co-founder of the Foundation for the Study of Inflammatory Diseases. He is a Founder of the Foundation for the Study of Inflammatory Diseases to crowd-source medical solutions for complex conditions using existing knowledge, diagnostic methods, and therapies to meet patient needs immediately. He is the Chief Medical Officer of Galaxy Diagnostics, LLC. He is a Board member of the Human-Kind Alliance. Dr. Mozayeni has held admitting privileges (since 1994) on the clinical staff of Suburban Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine and an affiliate of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.

Safedin Sajo Beqaj, PhD, HCLD, CC (ABB)

Moleculera Labs, Clinical Laboratory Advisor
Medical Database, Inc., President and CEO

Sajo Baqaj, PhD

Dr. Sajo Beqaj is board certified in molecular pathology and genetics and licensed as a Bioanalyst and High Complexity Laboratory Director. He has been practicing as a laboratory director since 2005.

Dr. Beqaj served as a technical director and was part of the initial management team for several well-known laboratories in the clinical lab industry including PathGroup, Nashville, TN; DCL Medical Laboratories, Indianapolis, IN, and Pathology, Inc, Torrance, CA. He is currently serving as off-side CLIA laboratory director for BioCorp Clinical Laboratory, Whittier, CA and Health360 Labs, Garden Grove, CA.

Dr. Beqaj received his Ph.D. in Pathology from Wayne State University Medical School, Detroit, Michigan. He performed his post-doctoral fellowship at Abbott Laboratories from 2001-2003 and with Children’s Hospital and Northwestern University from 2003-2005.

Dr. Beqaj has taught in several academic institutions and has published numerous medical textbook chapters and journal articles. He has served as a principal investigator in clinical trials for several well-known pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies such as Roche HPV Athena, Merck HPV vaccine, BD vaginitis panel, Roche (Vantana) CINtec® Histology clinical trials, and has presented various scientific clinical abstracts and presentations.

He is a member of several medical and scientific associations including the Association of Molecular Pathology, American Association of Clinical Chemistry and the Pan Am Society for Clinical Virology. He has served on a number of clinical laboratory regulatory and scientific committees, and has assisted several laboratories and physicians as a Clinical Laboratory Consultant.

Rodney Cotton, MBA

Moleculera Labs Board Member

Rodney Cotton, MBA

Rodney Cotton, MBA is an entrepreneurial thought leader in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry who is known for his holistic perspective, bias for action in the face of challenges, and commitment to agile processes.

Rod is an independent director for Orchard Software, a private equity-backed health technology company owned by Francisco Partners; an advisory board member to Flo2 Ventures, a venture capital-backed healthcare and health equity accelerator; and a member of the board of directors and three board committees (Audit, Compliance & Finance; Governance & Equity; and Quality of Care) for Community Health Network.

He built a successful career at Roche spanning more than two decades and culminating in the role of SVP, Head of Strategy & Transformation, and Chief of Staff to the CEO for Roche Diagnostics, the North American headquarters of the world’s largest ($17B) diagnostics company.

While at Roche, Rod led key enterprise initiatives, such as milestone corporate communications, health equity coalitions, the US/Roche Group audit, and global/US acquisition integrations. With 40+ years of experience, he drove the financial turnaround and cultural transformation of four global healthcare companies, led teams of up to 280 total reports, managed P&L of more than $1 billion, and served as a key member of the senior leadership team executing the most significant restructuring of the company in two decades.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rod and his team at Roche accelerated six ground breaking products in 11 months, including the first launch of the market’s most accurate and in demand molecular diagnostic test. He also solved extraordinary challenges of product scarcity, supply chain, product allocation, and logistics to achieve accelerated global sourcing and self manufacturing in line with testing guidelines.

A frequent public speaker on health equity and other topics, Rod was named one of the Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America by Savoy Magazine and one of the Top Blacks in Healthcare by He also received The Sagamore of the Wabash Award, one of the highest Indiana State honors, bestowed by Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb.

Rod holds an M.B.A. from California State University, Dominguez Hills, an M.S. in Strategic Management from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. in Biological Sciences & Technology from the University of California at Santa Barbara.