NIH's Vicky Whittemore to speak at Invest in ME conference

Invest in ME (IiME) have announced that Dr Vicky Whittemore of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) will give keynote speeches at the charity’s biomedical research colloquium and conference in London in early June. IiME described the events as “a fantastic gathering of researchers”.
The charity had approached the NIH in order to invite representatives in relation to the NIH’s in-depth intramural study on ME/CFS, and said they were “very pleased” that Dr Whittemore would attend.
The research colloquium on 1 and 2 June is an invitation-only workshop for active and potential ME/CFS researchers. It will include 26 presentations in sessions on patient stratification, sample standardisation, biomarkers, systems biology, novel treatments, and medical education.
The conference on 3 June is open to all, including patients. In addition to Dr Whittemore, the speakers include Professors Ron Davis, Mady Hornig, James Baraniuk, Carmen Scheibenbogen, Simon Carding, Maureen Hanson, Tom Wileman, Olli Polo, and Elisa Oltra, and Drs Jo Cambridge and Don Staines.
The topics covered include autoantibodies, the gut virome, clinical diagnosis, immunoregulation, pathogen discovery,  molecular biomarkers, the European ME Research Group, the Severely Ill cohort, and the NIH’s research into ME/CFS.
It is expected that a recording of the conference will be available on DVD shortly after the event.

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3 thoughts on “NIH's Vicky Whittemore to speak at Invest in ME conference”

  1. Thanks for posting this. What the small team of patients and parents of children with ME at Invest in ME have achieved in the past 10 years since they set up as a charity is quite miraculous given the background of politics behind the science of this disease. This month marks their 10th anniversary and here’s an online card open for well-wishers – http://www.groupcard.com/c/yfljtH8RVOR/
    There’s also more info about the charity projects on The Big Give –
    https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/charity/view/6239

  2. Justin Reilly

    I believe Dr. Whittemore is one who said that ME wasn’t being funded more by NIH bc the research proposals were really bad and we wouldnt want the proposals funded.
    Regardless, no NIH person should be allowed to keynote this conference unless it is someone with very substantial progress to announce. And i certainly hope NIH is paying her way, not patients (ie IiME)!

    1. Dr. Whittemore is the Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, one of the branches of the NIH offering additional administrative supplements to study the disease. While I’m sure she is not personally responsible for this funding, she joined several other branches of the NIH in actively soliciting administrative supplement grants for biomedical research proposals (see: NIH Administrative Supplement Grants ; NIH Calls for Additional Research Proposals to Study ME/CFS). Whittemore has said that in general research proposals have to be high-quality to be funded: “The actual number to be funded hasn’t been decided – it will depend on the number and quality of the applications we received…” (from here). That is not the same as stating there are no reasonable proposals at all.
      I’m not sure anyone has substantial progress to announce in the illness at this point in time. If you are referring to bureaucratic progress, Whittemore will have some to announce at that time, since there are meetings scheduled to make final funding decisions at the end of this month.
      I’m not sure who has paid for Dr. Whittemore to attend.

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