Freedom of Information Request: MRC CFS/ME multi-disciplinary panel members list
20 working days ago, I submitted a second FOI request to the MRC raising a number of questions of them, including a request for a list of the members of the MRC’s new multi-disciplinary panel. This request was fulfilled, today, by the MRC.
Note: The MRC states that there are currently no representatives of “other interested parties” who have an involvement with this new MRC CFS/ME Expert Group. It’s not clear from Ms Parker’s responses, today, whether the MRC still intends to invite or accept applications from “other interested parties” in addition to the two representatives for AfME and the ME Association who have already been appointed to this panel, nor on what basis “other interested parties” might have an involvement.
(I had been advised by the MRC on 27 May, that “The members of the panel will be appointed by invitation, and membership will include leading experts in a number of fields including neuroscience, immunology, toxicology, imaging, psychology and psychiatry and will involve other interested parties”.)
PDF for CFS/ME expert group membership
[List of members also appended as text. MRC responses in blue.]
12 December 2008
Freedom of Information Request
Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act in which you ask for an update on the questions you asked earlier in the year. The membership of the Panel and the arrangements for the first meeting have only recently been finalised. As noted in our response to your initial question information relating to the Panel will be published on our website in due course.
In your request of 16 November you have asked a number of questions relating to the membership and work of the new MRC CFS/ME Expert Group, the MRC’s responses follow your questions;
1] The names of all individuals appointed to date to the MRC CFS/ME multi-disciplinary panel, and their medical, or other, discipline.
A copy of the membership list for the CFS/ME Expert Group, including affiliations is attached. This membership list, which has only recently been finalised, will be published on the MRC website in due course.
2] Has an initial meeting of the panel taken place since my request for information on 25 April, and what was the date of this meeting?
There have been no meetings of the Expert Group to date. The first meeting will take place on Monday 15 December.
3] Has a Terms of Reference been drawn up?
The terms of reference will be discussed at the first meeting of the Expert Group on 15 December and will be agreed following that meeting.
4] I request a copy of the Terms of Reference.
The agreed terms of reference will be published on the MRC website. We will also send you a copy of the terms of reference when they have been finalised.
5] I request the names of any individuals and, where appropriate, the names of the organisations they represent, who have been invited to give presentations in relation to a CFS/ME multi-disciplinary panel as “other interested parties”.
6] I request the names of any individuals and, where appropriate, the names of the organisations they represent, who have already given presentations in relation to a CFS/ME multi-disciplinary panel as “other interested parties” and the dates on which these presentations took place.
Only members of the Panel, as listed in the attached document, have been invited to attend the meeting on 15 December. No representatives of “other interested parties” have been asked to give, or to submit presentations to that meeting.
7] I request the names of any individuals and, where appropriate, the names of the organisations they represent, who have already been appointed as representatives of “other interested parties” who are to have an involvement with the CFS/ME multi-disciplinary panel.
As noted at 1] above the membership of the panel has only recently been finalised, this is shown in the attached paper and will shortly be available on the MRC’s website. No other representatives or “other interested parties” have been appointed to the Expert Group, or have been invited to attend the meeting.
8] Ms Raymond has advised that, once finalised, the membership of the panel will be published on the MRC website. Does the MRC also intend to publish a list of the names of the individuals and, where appropriate, the names of the organisations they represent, appointed as representatives of “other interested parties” who have an involvement with the CFS/ME multi-disciplinary panel on the MRC website?
There are currently no representatives of “other interested parties” who have an involvement with the MRC CFS/ME Expert Group.
I hope that you are satisfied that your request has been handled appropriately. If not, you may appeal using the MRC’s complaints procedure. Details are on the MRC website at:
alternatively you may contact the MRC Complaints Officer by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or write to The Complaints Officer, Medical Research Council, 20 Park Crescent, London W1B 1AL.
If, following the Complaints Officer’s reply, you remain dissatisfied; you may contact the Information Commissioner. Details of how to take your complaint further are at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk .
Rosa Parker | Corporate Governance and Policy
[Ed: I have added in square brackets the professional specialities for those whose names may be unfamiliar to the ME community.]
From PDF as supplied by MRC:
CFS/ME expert group membership
Professor Stephen Holgate – University of Southampton – Chairman
[Professor Holgate chairs the research committee of the CFS Research Foundation and chairs or sits on other MRC committees.]
Professor Jill Belch – University of Dundee
Dr Esther Crawley – University of Bristol
Professor Philip Cowen – University of Oxford
[Ed: Philip Cowen is Professor of Psychopharmacology and MRC Clinical Scientist at the University of Oxford. His research and clinical interests are in the biochemistry and treatment of mood disorders, and particularly the pharmacological management of resistant depression.]
Professor Malcolm Jackson – University of Liverpool
[Ed: Head, Division of Metabolic and Cellular Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences.]
Dr Jonathon Kerr – St George’s University of London
Professor Ian Kimber – University of Manchester
[Ed: Professor and Chair of Toxicology, UK Medical Research Council (MRC) Training and Career Development Board, Special Advisor to the MRC on Industrial Liaison]
Professor Hugh Perry – University of Southampton
[Ed: School of Biological Sciences, Professor of Experimental Neuropathology and Director of Research: Acute brain injury, Neurological disease]
Dr Derek Pheby – National CFS/ME Observatory
Professor Anthony Pinching – Pennisula [sic] Medical School
Dr Charles Shepherd – ME Association
Sir Peter Spencer – Action for ME
Professor Peter White – Bart’s and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
[Ed: Senior lecturer and honorary consultant in psychological medicine. Specialty: Liaison psychiatry]
To be published on the MRC website www.mrc.ac.uk