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The Ramsay Research Fund

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

We fund research through the Ramsay Research Fund (RRF) which was named after Dr Melvin Ramsay who brought the neurological disease M.E. (myalgic encephalopathy/encephalomyelitis) to the attention of the medical profession in 1955.

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

What sort of research do we fund?

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

  • A better understanding of underlying disease mechanisms,
  • The development of reliable diagnostic tests for use in clinics,
  • Safe and effective forms of treatment.

M.E. is a complex illness with symptoms that cut across several medical boundaries – genetics, endocrinology, immunology, muscle pathology, and neurology in particular – so research into the underlying cause of this disease is rather like piecing together a complex medical jigsaw puzzle.

We actively seek researchers who will examine these underlying disease mechanisms. This must be our top priority if we are to obtain a better understanding of this disease and discover effective forms of treatment.

In the last 10 years we have invested over £500,000 in M.E. research, and over £1million in the last 25 years, which we couldn’t have achieved without your support.

But we want to do more to exploit the better understanding we now have about the disease, and then build on any discoveries to help change lives for the better.

Further information (free downloads):

The Christmas Appeal

More research for M.E. in 2019

We believe that biomedical research offers the best hope. And we want to fund more research in 2019 than ever before. Please help us to build on our success and continue to expand our vital work.

If you would like to help our Christmas Appeal, please donate:

  • with a single online donation via JustGiving, or,
  • by cheque (made payable to: The ME Association) to: The ME Association, 7 Apollo Office Court, Radclive Road, Gawcott, Bucks MK18 4DF, or,
  • by card donation over the phone to our head office (01280 818964).

If you would like to fundraise for the Christmas Appeal, please start your online giving page, here.

One day we will find the cause of this disease and have effective forms of treatment. And with your help, that day could come much sooner.

ME Association Clinical and Research Guide

  • The 10th edition is a must-have for anyone who has been affected by – or has an interest in – Myalgic Encephalopathy/Encephalomyelitis (M.E.).
  • It features a thorough clinical evaluation and all relevant published research.
  • Written by Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser to the ME Association, and Dr Abhijit Chaudhuri, Consultant Neurologist, Essex Centre for Neurosciences, Clinical Issues is reviewed and revised on an annual basis.
  • You can purchase a hard copy from our online shop or by contacting head office on 01280 818964 (Monday-Friday, 9.30am to 3.00pm).
  • The guide is also now available on Kindle! The same great price but easier to access…

Free copy available for health professionals!
We have funds set aside in our medical education budget to provide free copies of our clinical and research guide to GPs and other health professionals.
Contact us with the details on the phone number above, or send head office an email.

ME Association Index of Published ME/CFS Research

This is an A-Z index of the most important published research studies, selected key documents and articles, listed by subject matter, on ME/CFS. It is correct to 30th September 2018.

  • At the end of each month we update the Index and publish it with the research abstracts to help keep you informed of the latest developments.
  • The Index adopts the subject headings used in the ME Association’s authoritative clinical and research guide (see above).
  • The ME Association is very grateful to Dr Barbara de Barros, Charlotte Stephens and Russell Fleming, for producing such an excellent free resource.

Why is it so important that we raise money for M.E. research?

We believe that a key part of our role is to offer hope to the estimated 250,000 people with M.E. in the UK who desperately want to return to a normal way of life, and one of the best ways to achieve this goal is to fund quality biomedical research studies.

M.E. research in general is appallingly underfunded compared to other serious conditions and we do as much as we can to address this imbalance. We also advocate for more funding from other sources, for example, the Medical Research Council (MRC) through membership of the CFS/ME Research Collaborative (CMRC).

Medical research is very expensive – so finding the underlying cause of M.E. and effective forms of treatment isn’t going to be easy.  But that has not and will not prevent us from trying!

How to apply for a research grant

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 form 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.

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 M.E. 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 M.E. is being conducted through clinical trials involving human volunteers.

Other pages in this section:

  • Research Projects:
    RRF investment in infrastructure and laboratory research. Also, position statements on long-term initiatives like the Rituximab clinical trial and the Post-Mortem Tissue Bank and how you can donate tissue after death.
  • Published Research:
    RRF studies from 2000 to present; PACE Trial reanalysis and critical commentary, and MEA illness management reports and critical trial reviews; MEA research summaries and research updates.
  • Volunteering for Research:
    ME/CFS research requiring volunteers.
  • CFS/ME Research Collaborative:
    The ME Association is an active member of the Executive Board of the CMRC. Here you can learn more about this organisation, become a member, read the conference reviews, and meeting summaries.

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ME Association Registered Charity Number 801279


 

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