MRC multi-disciplinary panel “expert panel”: inaugural meeting

“A research collaborative will be formed from interested parties in the UK who have a stake in scientific research into M.E./CFS. The nucleus is the list of those who attended this meeting.

“It is envisaged that the group will expand, bringing together medical scientists from a wide range of different disciplines, funding organisations, royal colleges, professional organisations, patient charities and other relevant parties, to agree a common agenda for increasing the scale and quality of research into M.E. in the UK, along the lines of the achievements of the UK Respiratory Research Collaborative.”

Yesterday, AfME reported on the inaugural meeting of the MRC’s multi-disciplinary panel which convened on 15 December.

Responses to questions put to the MRC under the Freedom of Information Act can be read at:

https://meagenda.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/foi-request-mrc-cfsme-multi-disciplinary-panel-members-list/

This earlier posting includes brief summaries of the professional interests of those members of the panel whose names may not already be familiar to the ME community.

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http://www.afme.org.uk/news.asp?newsid=427

News

Research hopes for MRC multi-disciplinary panel

18 December 2008

“Meeting of minds has considerable potential for re-invigorating research into M.E./CFS”

Sir Peter Spencer, Action for M.E. and Dr Charles Shepherd, ME Association were amongst those invited to attend the first meeting of the MRC multi-disciplinary panel on CFS/M.E. which took place on Monday 15 December.

Chaired by Prof Stephen Holgate, University of Southampton, the panel also included Dr Derek Pheby, National CFS/ME Observatory, Dr Esther Crawley, University of Bristol, Prof Malcolm Jackson, University of Liverpool, Dr Jonathon Kerr, St George’s University of London, Prof Ian Kimber, University of Manchester, Prof Anthony Pinching, Peninsula Medical School and Prof Peter White, Bart’s and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Three other panel members – Prof Jill Belch, University of Dundee, Prof Philip Cowen, University of Oxford and Prof Hugh Perry, University of Southampton – were unable to attend on this occasion.

The main topic was: CFS/M.E. research – where are we now and what are the current research questions?

Background papers about existing research were circulated and a number of short presentations were given.

Prof Holgate talked about genetics and M.E., Dr Crawley spoke on paediatric M.E. and clinical centres, Prof Pinching gave a presentation on immunology and M.E., Prof White talked about treatment, Dr Pheby described the work of the Observatory and Peter Spencer and Charles Shepherd spoke of the importance of research from the charities’ perspective.

This was followed by a discussion about research opportunities and the way forward.

Peter Spencer describes the outcomes:

“A research collaborative will be formed from interested parties in the UK who have a stake in scientific research into M.E./CFS. The nucleus is the list of those who attended this meeting.

“It is envisaged that the group will expand, bringing together medical scientists from a wide range of different disciplines, funding organisations, royal colleges, professional organisations, patient charities and other relevant parties, to agree a common agenda for increasing the scale and quality of research into M.E. in the UK, along the lines of the achievements of the UK Respiratory Research Collaborative.

“A key objective will be to entice new research talent into the field of M.E., especially those already involved in researching topics that are relevant to the illness – and to attract much higher levels of government funding of scientific research.

“The research collaborative will be launched at prestigious workshop in the second half of 2009. It has the personal support of Boris Leszek, CEO of the MRC, which is a very positive sign.

“A central theme of this workshop will be how to engage scientists and powerful new technology to our investigations into the physiology of M.E. patients, and to collect data which will identify separate types of the illness which relate to genetic variations. The emphasis therefore is very clearly on biomedical scientific research.

“Detailed arrangements are still to be agreed but eminent international as well as UK researchers are expected to be invited to participate.

“This meeting of minds has considerable potential for re-invigorating research into M.E./CFS. The news is very positive.”

A second planning meeting will be held early in the New Year.

The terms of reference for the multi-disciplinary panel and further information about the workshop will be posted on the MRC website in due course.

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