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.

Joining the CMRC

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

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

  • MRC/NIHR: The ME/CFS Biomedical Partnership – Workshop Outcomes – A Summary Report.
    The ME/CFS Biomedical Partnership met with the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to discuss an application for funding a large genome-wide association study (GWAS).
    If the funding application is successful, the GWAS will collect saliva samples from 20,000 people with M.E.
    The research team is planning on using both the Canadian Consensus Criteria and Institute of Medicine criteria. This means that the 20,000 people recruited will need to meet one or both of these criteria, with post-exertional malaise being mandatory.
    A research application will be submitted to MRC and NIHR in January for consideration for funding, following peer review.
  • MRC/NIHR Workshop: The ME/CFS Biomedical Partnership – Genetics and Biomarkers
    An ambitious and significant research project has been announced by the CMRC that will seek 20,000 DNA samples from people with M.E. for a GWAS study, and also lead to an expansion of the ME Biobank. The MRC are hosting a workshop with interested parties to help researchers ensure that the application for funding will be as good as it possibly can.

CMRC Research Conference

The 2020 Research Conference

The 6th CMRC research conference will be held in Bristol on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 March.

The ME Association will be again funding student bursary places. See this blog for more information about the early-bird registration.

Previous CMRC Research 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.

November 2019 Update

A major new 20,000-person GWAS study and significant expansion to the M.E. Biobank is planned by members of the CMRC. A formal application for grant funding is being assembled with help from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and the Medical Research Council (MRC). You can read the latest CMRC minutes to stay abreast of developments.

The ME Association Ramsay Research Fund

We are a national charity working hard to improve the lives of people devastated by an often-misunderstood neurological disease. 

We believe biomedical research offers the best hope to people affected by M.E. If you would like to support our investment then please donate to the Ramsay Research Fund. 

Just click the image opposite to visit our JustGiving page for single donations, to establish a regular payment or to begin fundraising.

Or why not join the ME Association as a member and be part of our growing community? For a monthly (or annual) subscription you will also receive our exclusive ME Essential magazine.

ME Association Registered Charity Number 801279

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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