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UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative Conference 2017

Wednesday 10 January 2018


From Action for ME:


UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative Conference 2017

UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative

Report of the fourth Annual Science Conference

13 and 14 September 2017, Bristol

Sponsored by the Medical Research Council and Arthritis Research UK

Uniting behind a common goal

Now in its fourth year, the UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative (CMRC)’s annual conference, held in Bristol in September 2017, brought together scientists, clinicians, industry professionals and people affected by M.E.

The buzz this year was palpable. For me, it really feels like the mood has changed, and that everyone there felt able to unite behind a common goal – to unlock the biology of M.E.

It’s a feeling echoed elsewhere. Since the conference, the US National Institutes of Health has announced four grants for CFS/ME research totalling more than $7 million, with the aim of establishing a coordinated scientific research network, with three research centres and a data management site working as a consortium to further the understanding of CFS/ME. I look forward to exploring how the CMRC can contribute to, and build on, such powerful foundations.

On behalf of the CMRC Executive Board I extend a sincere thank you to all those whose energy and enthusiasm made the conference possible, including our sponsors the Medical Research Council and Arthritis UK, and to delegates and speakers who travelled from America, Australia and Europe.

My particular thanks go to volunteers Karen Hainsworth, Emily Beardall, Katrina Pears, Rachel Ephgrave and Charlotte Stephens, who dedicated considerable time and energy to write this report, with contributions from Dr Charles Shepherd, Honorary Medical Advisor, ME Association, and Clare Ogden, Head of Communications and Policy, Action for M.E.

I am also hugely grateful to the Action for M.E. staff team, led by Sonya Chowdhury, for organising the conference, and for filming the presentations – which have been viewed more than 7,400 times since at

With input from patients and professionals at the conference, we are already thinking about next year’s event (see p 49), and what needs to happen to make it truly patient-centred. As someone with a keen interest in M.E. research, your input will be invaluable. Please, join us – I hope to see you there.

Stephen Holgate
CMRC Chair


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