Project information

UK Centre for Biomedical Research into ME

To establish a facility for correct diagnosis, treatment and biomedical research into ME/CFS consisting of service commissioning, service provision with clinical diagnosis and examinations, translational biomedical research and a research database to allow for improved training of healthcare staff

January 2014 - December 2017

Charity information: Invest in ME Research

Invest in ME Research logo
  • Need


    People with ME/CFS need early and correct diagnosis, proper treatment and advice. The current status of services for people with ME and their families in the UK is poor with little knowledge or funding of current biomedical research and possible treatments being made available to patients or healthcare staff. This affects especially the young and severely affected, a group consisting of 25% of the ME patient population. The severely affected ME patients are mostly ignored by healthcare services


    The centre would perform correct examinations using standard diagnostic and clinical protocols. Follow-up examinations would provide all patients with a service/possible treatments. Results from any treatments would be fed back into a database, to be administered by the university & hospital. The university would perform translational biomedical research into ME/CFS using state-of-the-art research techniques and apply results from research more swiftly to patients. The centre would be the UK hub

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To create a translational biomedical research lab to increase knowledge about the disease


    » Create a post-doc position at the university to allow results of research to be analysed
    » Perform genome sequencing research to detect viruses in a patient
    » Examine the possible link between ME/CFS and gut inflammation in cooperation with the Institute for Food Research (IFR).
    » A research database/biobank will be established to assist epidemiological studies and enhance research potential and collaboration

    Success will be examination of at least 50 patients in the first project to create a cohort of well-defined patients and publication of a research paper leading to treatment(s)

    Aim 2

    Perform early and correct diagnosis of ME/CFS


    » Establish a clinical lead consultant postion to assess and plan the development of future services in conjunction with commissioning CCGs
    » Provide access to specialist assessment, diagnosis and education on the clinical management, including symptom control and specific interventions.
    » Enable healthcare staff to feel more comfortable with the diagnosis of ME/CFS being made

    Success will be examination of at least 50 patients in the first project to create a cohort of well-defined patients and publication of a research paper leading to treatment(s)

    Aim 3

    Collaboration with other countries in Europe/USA/Australia


    » Creation of a shared research database
    » Sharing of results between centres to effect more effective use of resources and speedier development of drugs to treat this disease

    Establishment of joint cooperation and sharing of data. Charity has already initiated European ME Research Group (EMERG).

    Aim 4

    facilitate training and education for healthcare staff in diagnosis and management of ME/CFS


    » Visits by known experts in ME/CFS for training
    » Conferences to present/review biomedical research into ME/CFS

    More doctors entering this area for specialisation. More awareness by doctors of the seriousness of this neurological illness

  • Impact


    ME/CFS will receive proper attention and this will lead to a coordinated strategic approach to research and treatment of ME/CFS.
    Other research will be able to be planned with a research database being formed to provide a central repository of data.
    Collaboration with other research establishments will remove prejudices about this disease and bring about advances in treatment and cures for this disease, enabling patients and their families to regain their lives and contribute to society.


    Lack of funding.
    The charity will mount a campaign to raise funds with the help of our supporters, supporting organisations and charities and our colleagues in the European ME Alliance.
    We already have some offers of support and an existing campaign has already raised funds to begin the initial research.


    Monthly progress reports, newsletters, end of research project press conferences, invitations to conferences

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £1,410,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £900,000 PhDs 3 PhDs per year for 3 years
      £300,000 post-doc 1 post doc researcher 1 for three years
      £210,000 Examinations examinations of a cohort of patients with ME. performed by Consultant - initially 3 years

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    ME organisation £50,000 Conditional
    Fundraising campaign £410,000 Conditional
    Collaborative venture £50,000 Conditional
  • Background


    In the Norwich Research Park in Norfolk. This campus also includes the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hopistal, the TGAC, the Institute of Food Research and the Innovation Centre with a new microbiology facility.


    People with ME and their families. The healthcare professionals. The local economy. The UK science base. The UK economy. The reputation of the UK health services and scientific organisations. The UK society.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Invest in ME is a UK registered charity which aims to provide better education and awareness about ME. The charity has organised five annual CPD-accredited international biomedical research conferences in London since 2006 – these have attracted speakers/delegates from over 20 countries from North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. The charity is also founder member of the European ME Alliance – a group of national patient organisations from nine European countries.After five years of campai

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Ian Gibson

    Scientific advisor. Dr Gibson is advising the charity on science, the media, politics and how the proposal can be achieved

    Professor Jonathan Edwards

    Scientific advisor

    Kathleen Mccall

    Charity Chairman and patient representative

    Richard Simpson

    Charity Trustee and patient representative

6th Invest in ME International ME/CFS Conference

6th Invest in ME International ME/CFS Conference