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Society Seminar Report: The Invest In ME Conference (London June 2017) By Dr Ros Vallings

Thursday 19 October 2017


From Society member Bronwyn Caldwell:


Invest in ME

The Invest In ME Conference (London June 2017) By Dr Ros Vallings

By Bronwyn Caldwell

Download a PDF of this report

Via Skype from NZ, Dr. Ros Vallings talked us through the research, treatments & management practices discussed at the Invest in ME conference held in London in June this year.

As our first attempt at having a speaker live from overseas, we did very well. Ros very kindly spent quite a bit of time practicing with me before the event. This now opens up the possibility of having more international experts speak to us live without needing to be in the room which is really exciting.

Key Take-outs of Ros’s Talk:

  • The first two days of the conference were a colloquium. A brainstorming type event with roughly 60 international researchers and physicians, including Ros, invited to attend. The third day was the conference itself where all the presentations were given.
  • The important areas of current research include: immunology, biochemistry, brain activity & inflammation, gut/microbiome, metabolome, exercise studies, mitochondria, cardiovascular etc. etc., treatment studies.
  • The disease is like a molecular jigsaw puzzle we are trying to put together and although we have gaps we now have so much more knowledge than even 5 years ago. Researchers of ME/CFS, unlike other conditions, are all very keen to collaborate and share information which is quite wonderful.
  • There are several potential biomarkers/tests being investigated at the moment. The 2-day VO2 max test (a.k.a. 2-day bike test) is proving a very reliable way to diagnose ME/CFS.
  • A summary of the conference presentions Ros discussed is in the table below



Area of Research

Prof. Donald Staines &
Prof. Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik


TRPM3 on Natural Killer cells (NK) a possible biomarker.

Prof. Nancy Klimas

Florida USA

Gene signature for the disease.

Prof. Simon Carding

Norwich UK

Gut/microbiome. How bacteria & viruses interact giving ME/CFS a very different make up than well people.

Prof. Mady Hornig

New York USA

Connection between bowel bacteria & brain function. And whether brain viruses may be causing POTS.

Prof. Warren Tate

Otago NZ

Exercise intolerance and mitochondrial function.

Prof. Jo Cambridge
Drs. Fluge & Mella
Prof Olav Mella

UCL London
Bergen, Norway

Rituximab as a potential treatment for autoimmune illnesses.
Large Rituximab (kills B cells) study.
Trialling cyclophosphamide, a cheaper chemotherapy drug.

Prof. Ron Davis

California USA

Body chemistry of ME/CFS & “hibernation” state. Many investigations underway.

DVDs of this seminar are available from the society office ph 1300 128 339 or email

Dr Ros Vallings 1

Dr Ros Vallings 2




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