UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative, conference report | 30 September 2014


The ME Association will not be producing a separate report of the conference. Instead, the official record will include contributions later from our medical adviser Dr Charles Shepherd and MEA volunteer Russell Fleming. Simon McGrath, who contributed substantially to this first instalment, regularly writes on the science of ME/CFS for our ME Essential magazine.


The UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative (CMRC) is writing a full report of its September 2014 conference, with presentation and workshop summaries being made available as soon as they are ready: click on the links below to read them.

“We have been working hard with researchers to pull together a report that gives a flavour of the UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative’s first science conference. This report has only been made possible thanks to the support of three Action for M.E. volunteers and staff member, Clare Ogden, Prof Jonathan Edwards, Charles Shepherd (MEA) and the researchers themselves. We are nearing completion of the report but because of the level of interest, we will be releasing sections they are completed. We are delighted to begin with a summary of Robert Dantzer’s presentation, prepared by Simon McGrath” says Sonya Chowdhury, CEO of Action for M.E. and UK Research Collaborative Executive Board Member.

If you wish to share this report, please provide a link to the report here and do not reproduce without express permission from Action for M.E. Contact: research@actionforme.org.uk to discuss further.

FIRST INSTALMENT HERE> Welcome by Prof Stephen Holgate, CMRC Chair and Plenary session one on inflammation, including:

* Anne Faulkner Lecture: The neuroimmune basis of fatigue by Prof Robert Dantzer, University of Texas Anderson Cancer Centre
* Interferon-alpha rapidly changes brain microstructure by Dr Neil Harrison, University of Sussex
* Interferon-alpha induced persistent fatigue by Alice Russell, Kings College London
* Blood cytokine concentrations in CFS: a systematic review by Dr Lisa Blundell, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
* Resveratrol treatment on TNF-α-induced cytokine release by Kate Earl, University of Liverpool

SECOND INSTALMENT HERE>Associate Member/patient and researcher session, including:

* Working together for more and better research that benefits people with CFS/ME, a workshop facilitated by Sally Crowe
* Panel discussion for researchers and Associate Members, chaired by Prof Stephen Holgate, CMRC Chair

THIRD INSTALMENT HERE>Plenary session two on MRC-funded CFS/ME research, including:

* Understanding the pathogenesis of autonomic dysfunction in chronic fatigue syndrome and its relationship with cognitive impairment by Dr Stuart Watson (for Prof Julia Newton), Newcastle University
* Biological fingerprints of fatigue by Prof Wan-Fai Ng, Newcastle University
* Inflammation and fatigue: is it different from depression? by Prof Carmine Pariante, King’s College London
* Sleep and CFS/ME by Dr Sue Wilson (for Prof David Nutt), Imperial College London
* Mitochondrial function and cytokine production in skeletal muscle of patients with CFS/ME by Prof Anne McArdle, University of Liverpool
* The epidemiology of CFS/ME in adolescence by Dr Esther Crawley, University of Bristol
* PACE: a trial & tribulations by Prof Peter White, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry

Plenary session three on infection, including

FOURTH INSTALMENT HERE> Acute infection & post-infective fatigue as a model for CFS by Prof Andrew Lloyd, University of New South Wales
FIFTH INSTALMENT HERE> * Microbiology & immunology of CFS/ME and other challenging disorders by Prof Ian Lipkin, Columbia University

SIXTH INSTALMENT HERE>Plenary session four on pain, paediatric CFS/ME and epidemiology, including:

* Understanding pain mechanism in children and adolescents by Prof Maria Fitzgerald, University College London
* The epidemiology of adolescent CFS and chronic widespread pain by Prof Jon Tobias, University of Bristol
* Recovery and persistence from CFS/ME in adolescents by Dr Roberto Nuevo, University of Bristol

SEVENTH INSTALMENT HERE>Closing presentations, including:

* Workshop feedback, chaired by Prof Stephen Holgate, CMRC Chair
* Taking collaboration forward: next steps by Prof Stephen Holgate, CMRC Chair
* End of conference summary by Prof Hugh Perry, University of Southampton

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