Research

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OVERVIEW


The ME Association has always regarded the promotion and funding of medical research to be a key priority.

We fund research through The MEA Ramsay Research Fund which was named after Dr Melvin Ramsay who brought this disease to the attention of the medical profession following an outbreak at London’s Royal Free Hospital in 1955.

Dr Ramsay also helped establish the ME Association which was founded in 1978 and he remained closely involved with the charity until he died in 1990.


WHAT SORT OF RESEARCH DO WE SUPPORT?


We invest only in biomedical research studies and infrastructure projects that will help lead to:

▪ a better explanation of underlying disease mechanisms
▪ the identification of diagnostic markers resulting in clinical tests
▪ more effective forms of treatment

ME/CFS is a complex, multi-system disease and we actively seek researchers who will examine underlying disease mechanisms involving genetics, immunology, neurology, endocrinology, and pathology. Such studies must be a top priority if we are to discover effective forms of treatment.

Further information relating to the kind of research we believe should be supported can be read online in a recent article from Dr Charles Shepherd: What do we know about the causes of ME/CFS?

For a more comprehensive and fully referenced review of medical knowledge to date, we recommend ME/CFS/PVFS: An Exploration of the Key Clinical Issues


HOW DO WE RAISE FUNDS FOR RESEARCH?


Our funding comes from people who have been affected by ME/CFS either directly or indirectly and is received in the form of individual or group donations or from money left to us in a will.

We very much welcome all contributions and you do not need to be a member of the ME Association to contribute to our Ramsay Research Fund.

DONATE TO THE MEA RAMSAY RESEARCH FUND

If you would like to donate directly to the MEA Ramsay Research Fund, please contact head office by phone on 01280 818968 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 3.30pm) with your debit or credit card details.

HOW MUCH DO WE SPEND ON ADMINISTRATION?

We make no administration charge. We are very aware that people who give money to research want to see it spent on research – and not swallowed up by administration expenses.

The Ramsay Research Fund is a restricted fund which means that all donations are used exclusively for research activity.

We do not employ any extra staff to deal with routine administration or the research we are funding, and any support that is required is done so voluntarily or is met out of our general funds.


WHAT IS OUR POSITION ON ANIMAL TESTING?


The MEA Ramsay Research Fund is not funding any research that involves the use of animals nor do we have any plans (or applications) to fund research that involves the use of animals.

We would not completely rule out the use of animal research if we were convinced that information from this could lead to an effective form of treatment for ME/CFS and that there was no other way in which this research could be carried out.

But this is clearly a hypothetical situation that is very unlikely to occur because research into the treatment of ME/CFS is being conducted through clinical trials involving human volunteers.


HOW DO YOU APPLY FOR RESEARCH FUNDING?


We would encourage any researcher to first contact our medical adviser Dr Charles Shepherd (via admin@meassociation.org.uk) for an informal discussion.

If you would like to submit a proposal for consideration, please do so by providing the necessary information on our research proposition and returning it to us as soon as possible.

The next stage in the process will require submission of a formal grant application, but this should not be completed until your proposition has received approval. We aim to reply to all propositions within four weeks of receipt.

Grant decisions are based on the guidelines produced by the Association of Medical Research Charities and we will normally include both an internal and external peer review of all formal grant applications.


VISIT OUR OTHER PAGES IN THIS SECTION


Current research

Published research

Research volunteers required

CFS/ME Research Collaborative

Our 2012 CBT, GET and Pacing Report – ‘No decisions about me without me’.