CFS/ME Research Collaborative

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The UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative (CMRC) was established in April 2013 as a working group of researchers, research funding organisations and M.E. charities.

The ME Association is an active member of the Executive Board.


To promote the discovery of the biological mechanisms that underpin CFS/ME, which, together with clinical observation, will drive the development of targeted new treatments for this highly underserved patient population.


  • To design, implement and analyse the outcome of a cross-stakeholder,
    comprehensive, national research strategy for CFS/ME and experimental medicine.
  • To create an open cross-sector platform for effective knowledge-exchange and data sharing both nationally and internationally, in order to optimise research, raise awareness of the disease, and influence policymakers and investors.


  • We are an intellectually generous community sharing data, best practice and technologies.
  • We are a creative community harnessing new ideas, new technologies and new ways of working.
  • We are a collaborative community inviting all stakeholders to join our programmes and shape our activity.
  • We are an enabling community, facilitating the leverage of further resources for CFS/ME research.

For more details please see the 2018 CMRC overview.


The CMRC is chaired by Stephen Holgate from the University of Southampton who is also Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology and Honorary Consultant Physician. It was largely because of Professor Holgate’s involvement in the MRC Expert Group on ME/CFS and his continuing determination to discover the underlying causes of the disease and find effective forms of treatment, that the collaborative was born.

The ME Association, as an active member of the MRC Expert Group, also supported Professor Holgate in establishing the CMRC and strongly believes in the importance of this working partnership – especially in helping to bring ME/CFS to the recognition of mainstream science as a legitimate biomedical disease in desperate need of increased funding.

CMRC Executive

For more information about the terms of reference for the executive board and who the current members are, visit this page of our website.

Joining the CMRC

If you would like to join the CMRC or are interested in further details about the different forms of membership, visit this page of our website.

CMRC Meeting Summaries

The CMRC executive board meet at least quarterly and hold an AGM in April each year. Following each meeting they make summaries publicly available. You can read them on this page of our website.

CMRC Latest News

CMRC Annual Research Conference

The 2018 conference

The 5th annual CMRC conference was held in Bristol on the 19th and 20th of September.

There was a very high turnout, which included researchers from the UK and overseas, health professionals, academics, students, people with ME/CFS and carers.

It was two days full of interesting talks, exciting new findings and a general sense of passion for biomedical research.

Previous conference reports:

The MEGA (ME/CFS Epidemiology and Genomics Alliance) Project

Launched as a ‘grand challenge’ by Stephen Holgate at the 2015 CMRC conference, the MEGA project aimed to establish the world’s largest ME/CFS bioresource, collecting clinical data and tissue samples from 12,000 men, women, and children affected by the disease.

Once established, it had been hoped that the bioresource would enable a dedicated team, including some of the UK’s top biomedical researchers, to investigate underlying and contributory disease mechanisms. At the end of 2016 MEGA recruited a patient advisory group who worked with the research team to make outline grant applications to UK funding bodies.

Unfortunately, the two applications for funding (made to Wellcome and separately to the MRC) were not successful in 2017 and the future of MEGA is uncertain.

As at Sept. 2018 we are still awaiting an update on MEGA, but the CMRC are currently working with the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) to come up with a better means of securing the necessary funding to take a similar idea forward.

ME Association position on MEGA

Dr Charles Shepherd stated in March 2017: “The MEA position on MEGA remains exactly the same – we will make a decision as to whether we are going to endorse and support the MEGA study when we have ALL the key information relating to concerns and questions about patient selection, diagnostic criteria, inclusion of people with severe ME/CFS etc etc. We will also take note of what the MEGA PAG (Patient Advisory Group) are saying.”

For more information about MEGA including blogs and FAQs please visit the MEGA website.

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.

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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