3 major research collaborations have been anounced over the last few months:
On the 23rd of April 2013 the UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative (UK CMRC) was launched. Key ME charities and biomedical researchers have joined together with researchers who have previoulsy conducted research with a more psychosocial approach to the illness, believing that this is a great opportunity to change the direction of ME research in the UK and attract more scientists.
Invest in ME (IiME) have chosen to join with the Alison Hunter Memorial Foundation (AHMF) of Australia believing that an international collaboration concentrating on biomedical research into strictly defined ME is the way forward. IiME/AHMF BRMEC (Biomedical Research into ME Collaborative) will be holding a meeting on 30th May in London before the International IiME research conference.
In the US the OMI-MERIT (ME Roundtable on Immunology and Treatment) is a strategic initiative of the Open Medicine Institute (OMI) and its collaborators to bring together leading clinicians and researchers to tackle the under researched disease of ME/CFS. The MERIT group is focused on developing and applying a multi-factorial approach to the discovery of new diagnostic and treatment solutions for ME/CFS, particularly increasing the use of new technologies. Some UK charities are also supporting this.
WAMES wishes to see more biomedical research into ME as a matter of priority in the hope it will lead to a greater understanding of ME and the subgroups of CFS and uncover accurate diagnostic tests and appropriate treatment options.
We understand the desire of many people with ME and their carers to shun all research and researchers that take time and money away from biomedical research. ME has been sidelined and mocked by scientists and clinicians for too long. But we acknowledge the value of discussion and collaboration as a way for all to arrive at a common understanding.
Whether the UK CMRC will produce research that is well designed and implemented and that will benefit both people with ME and CFS, only time will tell. We will be watching all of these research collaborations with interest and wish them well on their journeys.
University of Newcastle Press release
University of Bristol Press release
Phoenix Rising: Launch of inclusive UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative