The UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative
People with M.E. need better treatment and support. This can only be achieved through increasing the quality of research; by coordinating a stronger collaborative approach to stimulate more research through bringing in expertise from outside the field and supporting early stage career researchers; and by working strategically to increase funding for research. The UK CFS/M.E. Research Collaborative (CMRC) was set up to achieve these aims.
The CMRC Executive Board is delighted to announce that the Wellcome Trust and Arthritis Research UK have each made a £10,000 contribution to fund the CMRC’s second annual conference and support the ongoing work of the Collaborative. This commitment builds on the support from the Medical Research Council (MRC) which has, over the past two years, provided critical funding to support two conferences and the future work of the CMRC.
Research Conference 2015
Wellcome Trust “The UK’s largest non-governmental source of funds for biomedical research.”
The research conference takes place Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 October 2015 in Newcastle when Professor Jose Montoya from the Stanford ME/CFS Initiative will be making a keynote speech.
Arthritis Research UK will be co-facilitating a workshop for researchers and Associate Members on fatigue, exploring what we can learn from research in the two illness fields and what further potential there is for collaboration in the future.
Researcher registration: www.cmrc2015.eventzilla.net
Associate Member registration to attend on the afternoon of 13 October or to watch via Livestream: www.cmrcprom.eventzilla.net
Note: Associate Membership is FREE upon successful application.
Prof Stephen Holgate “This is an incredibly exciting development for the research field…”
Alongside this, the Wellcome Trust and National Institute of Health Research will be joining the MRC on the Executive Board as observers. This provides the impetus to commence work on the Grand Challenge programme announced previously by the CMRC. This will seek to achieve a more co-ordinated and joined up approach working strategically with mainstream funders, charities, researchers and people with CFS/M.E. to progress the research field.
To kick-start this endeavour, the Collaborative is working with Über Research to gain a detailed overview of research funding into CFS/M.E. in the UK and globally over the past 10 years. This will, for the first time, provide a detailed picture of what research has, or is, being undertaken, evidence the gaps that exist in specific research areas, and inform what action needs to be taken as part of the Grand Challenge.
In support of improving the quality of applications submitted to mainstream funders, the Board is also launching the provision of peer review for early stage career researchers. This peer review will be undertaken by experienced researchers and scientists such as Prof Hugh Perry.
Do note that the UK CMRC is not a research-funding body, although many of its members are. Its primary aim is “To promote the highest quality of basic and applied evidenced based and peer reviewed research into CFS/ME”. You can read more about the collaborative in the CMRC charter.
Prof Stephen Holgate, Chair, CMRC, says “This is an incredibly exciting development for the research field in the UK but also more widely. For too long, we have seen considerable gaps in CFS/M.E. research and there is no question that this ultimately impacts on the quality of care, treatment and support that people with the illness receive. We need to see more researchers coming into the field but we also need to see the quality of research improve and a more proactive collaborative approach to tackling these issues.”
The UK CMRC is also supported in its mission by patient representative charity organisations: Action for ME, Association of Young People with ME, The ME Association, and ME Research UK. Learn more about the CMRC including next month’s research conference and how to become a member.
You might also like to read the minutes from the most recent July meeting of the CMRC Executive which features some new additions to the board.
Matters relating to the conference will use #CMRC2015 on Twitter and a comprehensive conference report will be produced as per last year. So stay tuned even if you are unable to attend!