London Calling Runners for Royal Parks Half Marathon!

Entry closes 23rd August for 13th October 2019

There are currently (now 2) places still available to run for Invest in ME Research in the London Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday 13 October 2019. The charity has 12 places in total and 9 people are already signed up for the team, so if you know anyone who might like to join Team IiMER for this event please let them know of this opportunity – details here.

Contact Details for IiMER

  • Invest in ME Research Charity Nr. 1153730
  • Address: PO Box 561 Eastleigh Hampshire SO50 0GQ
  • Phone: 02380 643736 / 07759 349743
  • Email: info@investinme.org

This will be another great opportunity for the charity to raise awareness of its strategy of funding high-quality biomedical research and the development of a UK/European Centre of Excellence for ME – and raise awareness of the need for biomedical research into this disease. 

  • This Royal Parks Half Marathon route winds through four Royal Parks (Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park and The Green Park) in all their autumnal splendour.
  • There are 16000 runners in the marathon.
  • The course is 13.1 miles (21 km) long.
  • The route takes in the capital’s world-famous landmarks on closed roads, and four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.

Details here: investinme.org/IIMER-Newslet-1903-01RPHM.shtml

To past and future members of Team IiMER Royal Parks Half
thank you for supporting Invest in ME Research!

Special Issue Newsletter from Invest in ME Research

Thanking You on 8 Years of the Let’s Do It for ME Campaign

Click here to see original and to subscribe to future free e-newsletters.

Invest in ME Research has been highlighting the development of a Centre of Excellence for ME and its opportunities for some years. We are pleased that the work the charity has put in to form the foundations of research has progressed slowly but surely thanks to our supporters who believed in our strategy and supported our plans. More and more are gradually becoming aware of the foundations that have been laid to make sustainable progress in research and treatment of ME.

Quote by Thomas Carlyle

There are many areas of life where unsung heroes make sacrifices in order to make progress – never desiring recognition or fame or glory for themselves – but just trying to make a difference.

Let’s Do It for ME (LDIFME) is an awareness and fundraising campaign launched in July 2011 by severely ill housebound or bedbound patients. The team met on Facebook and wanted to do something positive and practical to support the proposal by Invest in ME Research to establish a Centre of Excellence for ME based at Norwich Research Park and working in collaboration with other researchers in UK and internationally.

LDIFME have recently celebrated their eighth year and we wished to acknowledge their efforts and achievements – these selfless, unsung heroes who are and have been a credit to people with ME and their families and carers.

The LDIFME team has composed a summary of some of the work performed and the achievements realised over the last eight years.

We wish to thank the LDIFME team and all the supporters of every campaign, every fundraiser, every letter of support, every contribution made to this great grassroots movement- which has made so many innovations over the years to make progress in research, treatment and perception of ME.

Because of their efforts we now have a real possibility to make progress and it is right before us, having already established the following -.

Thank you LDIFME and our supporters for your wonderful efforts.

  • A UK/European hub for biomedical research into ME
  • A clinical trial which will raise the profile of ME and achieve scientific objectives
  • A GP fellowship to educate GPs and create champions in clinical care for people with ME,
  • PhD students introduced to research 
  • Medical students involved in research
  • High-quality biomedical research from top researchers in the leading European research park, complete with university and university hospital,
  • European collaboration
  • A European ME Clinicians group established and working
  • A European ME Researchers group forming
  • International research Colloquiums bringing researchers together.
  • International ME Conferences that allow researchers, clinicians, patient groups and carers to interact and network.

All this achieved by IiMER, LDIFME and our supporters ……. it is already there, just needing funding to maintain.

Read more on the LDIFME site at this link-
http://ldifme.org/2019/07/31/8-years-doing-it-for-me/

We welcome support to continue our work to develop further the hub for biomedical research into ME-

https://www.wonderful.org/charity/investinmeresearch

#CofEforME #LetsCresearch

Thank you all at IiMER from Team LDIFME!

Subscribe to Invest in ME Research free e-newsletters

Invest in ME Research – Let’s Do It!

ME Conference Week 2020

Dates Announced for 2020 Invest in ME Research
London Conference Week Events

Invest in ME Research London Conference Week May 2020

For the 15th consecutive year, May ME Awareness Month will draw to a close with Invest in ME Research international ME Conference Week.

Hashtags #meconferenceweek2020 #IIMEC15 #BRMEC10 #TtF2020

To support medical education and wider awareness, please inform your doctor and anyone you think needs to know about current biomedical research and healthcare. At least then they will be informed even if they can’t attend and they can also watch the CPD-accredited conference presentations online.

Medical Doctor commenting on Invest in ME Research Conference

Conference Day (30 May 2020) is open to anyone interested; patients able to attend, carers, healthcare and other public service professionals, political representatives, journalists etc.

This is by pre-paid ticket only (not on the door on the day) and the price is heavily subsidised by the charity. The conference attracts delegates from four continents and from over 20 countries.

There are sponsorship opportunities.

Lunch at 14th Invest in ME Research Conference May 2019

Rest assured, IiMER Bear ensures events go to plan!

Thinking the Future (27 May 2020) and the Biomedical Research into ME Colloquium (28-29 May 2020) are closed meetings for the researchers, but it may help any professionals involved in your or your child’s care, your MP as well as family and carers, to be aware that ME science is progressing and consequently informing medical education with productive international collaboration. These events have now established a core working group of researchers and facilitated many new collaborations – which was the intention of the meetings.

Professor Ron Davis 14th Invest in ME Research Conference May 2019

The networking that continues at the Invest in ME Research conferences allows other developments to occur long after the conference itself has finished – not just in the UK but also in other countries.

A recent example is the second Thinking The Future conference for early career researchers held April 2019 by NIH in Washington and organised by Dr. Vicky Whittemore and Dr. Andrew Breeden in collaboration with Invest in ME Research, following from the first Thinking the Future in London May 2018.

There is also a pre-conference evening dinner with presentation.

2019 is the first year that Invest in ME Research posted the conference presentations (and pre-conference dinner speech) online instead of DVD. You can find them all here along with the Conference Report.

May 2019 IIMEC14 Presentions Online

DONATE HERE TO SUPPORT THESE IMPORTANT EVENTS

Thank you for supporting Invest in ME Research!

Phoebe & Georgina’s Sponsored Kayak!

By Georgina & Phoebe

Even a live Second World War grenade  couldn’t stop us! 

On Sunday the 28th of July we began our quest to conquer a 25 mile kayak to raise money for Invest In ME Research. This journey consisted of a very early start, a late end to our tiring day and a shed load of rain in between. We started at Little Haywood, near Rugeley with our team of many supportive helpers including one in a kayak too, who without them it wouldn’t have been possible. Our planned route was to follow the Trent & Mersey canal from here through 14 locks and all the way to Willington in Derbyshire 25 miles by canal.

After an hour and a half of non-stop rain Georgina began to feel the cold and we decided it would be the right decision to stop at the next lock to collect a vital and necessary dry jumper. Another hour or so passed and we were nearing Fradley where we knew we would be provided with hot food and supportive friends and family. 

After lunch we knew there was a long way to go but our friend’s banner gave us a helping boost of perseverance. The next 10 miles were rather tough, as we knew we still had a long way to go. As we neared Shobnall Marina we were instructed by police to leave the water as a live grenade had been discovered in the canal by a magnet fisherman. The canal was full of boats as it had been shut for sometime and soon the bomb disposal team were also in attendance! We decided the only option was to walk with the 3 kayaks along the main road to get back to the canal. But thankfully before we reached the road a kind family let us through their garden to get to the canal quicker. 

When we approached the last 4 miles of our trek it was encouraging to see many family members reminding us we could do it. However as time passed it became gradually harder as it was getting later and we were getting more tired.

We finally reached our destination where we were greeted by familiar faces and lots of support. We both were exhausted, proud and ready for a hot drink. We had completed 26.3 miles in total with an average speed of 2.7 mph. Everyone there was very supportive and donated generously. We would like to thank everyone who helped, donated and supported us as this is such an important yet small charity. https://www.wonderful.org/fundraiser/endurancekayaking-49b77049

A huge well done and thank you to Phoebe and Georgina and everyone supporting and cheering on these two stars, undaunted by an unexploded grenade! The girls did a lot of training to lead up to this grueling challenge. They wrote on their fundraising page,

“We are two total novice 13 year olds taking on a huge challenge to kayak 25 miles in order to raise vital funds for biomedical research into ME. We are doing this after Georgina’s sister was hit with this horrid illness age just 14 and became very poorly. ME is a multi- system disease affecting not only the neurological system but also the immune , muscularskeletal, endocrine and cardio vascular. Its life changing in short with a quality of life generally worse than a person with end stage cancer.”

The girls have raised over £2,200 including Gift Aid thanks to their Wonderful sponsors! Wonderful is a fee-free fundraising platform so every penny donated will be spent on vitally-needed biomedical ME research: https://www.wonderful.org/fundraiser/endurancekayaking-49b77049

Thank you Phoebe and Georgina for doing a Kayak for ME!

Thank you for supporting Invest in ME Research!

P.S. To our blog subscribers, apologies that you did not receive our last blog by email, marking 8 Years Doing It for ME!

8 Years Doing It for ME!

£900k Crowdfunded for Biomedical ME Research

If you have been with us from the start then please congratulate yourself on your part in changing the landscape of research and future treatment of ME in UK and beyond! Also please accept our massive thanks for your ongoing support to help the charity Invest in ME Research achieve so much.

If you are new to our site, we extend a warm welcome and an invitation to join our efforts to support Invest in ME Research through the next phases of their vitally important work on developing a UK Centre of Excellence for ME for biomedical research and treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

What’s been achieved over eight years?

ME set as a disease target on world-class Norwich Research Park

4 PhDs funded by Invest in ME Research

Science papers published

First two crowdfunded PhDs graduate 2019
(Dr. Daniel Vipond, QI and Dr. Fane Mensah, UCL)

Medical students intercalate in research funded by the charity

International research and medical education collaborations

The above mentioned in two Parliamentary debates on ME

GP Fellowship Scheme

Work underway for 2020 trial of FMT as a treatment for ME

A recap of the story so far, updates, and what’s next…

Let’s Do It for ME is an awareness and fundraising campaign launched July 2011 by severely ill patients, house/bedbound. We met on Facebook and wanted to do something positive and practical to support the proposal by Invest in ME Research to establish a Centre of Excellence for ME based at Norwich Research Park and working in collaboration with other researchers in UK and internationally. NRP has all the facilities needed for such a centre; a university, medical school, university hospital, as well as the relevant scientific institutes and genome analysis centre.

Invest in ME (the charity transitioned to the name Invest in ME Research over the next few years) published their proposal for a UK Centre in May 2010. Less than a year later everything was in place for plans to begin at Norwich Research Park except for a local specialist doctor qualified to examine and diagnose patients with ME.

We decided to crowdfund £100k to enable the programme of biomedical research to get underway. We succeeded thanks to brilliant support from fellow patients around the world and many of their friends and families! Some of those early supporters are pictured in the mosaic image above. We enlisted Professor Let’s Do It for ME Bear to help us keep count. The University of East Anglia issued a press release in 2014.

Professor Simon Carding IIMEC14 2019

The focus of the research is the role of infection and the immune system in ME, including whether autoimmunity plays a role.

The starting point is the gut as the site of most of the immune system, specifically microbes residing in the gut, and whether microbes cross the gut wall into the bloodstream triggering an autoimmune response.

ME is classified as an organic neurological disorder (WHO ICD-10 G93.3). Alterations in the gut microbiome and dysregulation of the gut-brain axis have been found in several diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.


Professor Simon Carding IIMEC14 2019

Leading the work on ME at Norwich Research Park are Professors Tom Wileman and Simon Carding, joined by 4 PhD students to date.

The researchers decided to target severely ill patients and have worked extremely hard through the whole process of initiating ME research at Norwich Research Park, a great deal of planning, extensive literature review, administrative procedures, a lengthy process in itself, before taking the first samples from patients in 2014 to study in the lab.

The team engage in lengthy round trips to London and Surrey to obtain samples at home visits to patients under the care of specialist Dr. Amolak Bansal. To meet ethics requirements and also to ensure patients meet the selection criteria, a clinical specialist is required. As there were none in Norwich, Dr. Amolak Bansal kindly stepped in as the clinical consultant.

The team also face extreme temperatures for ME science!

The pioneering Phd student engaged to work on the foundation study investigating a role of leaky gut and the intestinal microbiota in the pathophysiology of ME formally graduated July 2011 and his metabolomics paper based on his PhD work has been submitted for publication. Congratulations Dr. Daniel Vipond!

Medical education is another important element in the Invest in ME Research Centre of Excellence model.

ME either doesn’t feature on medical school curricula or is mistakenly taught as a common psychosomatic condition. This leaves newly qualified doctors at a loss when faced with ME patients in the real world.

Working with Norwich Medical School, the charity introduced a scheme for medical students to spend an intercalated year working
on the research funded by the charity.

Dr. Anthony Komaroff cited a paper by medical students (now qualified doctors) Naveena Navaneetharaja and Verity Griffiths at the NIH research conference in Washington April 2019.

Dr. Ian Gibson was instrumental in supporting Invest in ME Research in their plans to establish a Centre of Excellence. Professor Ian Charles, Director of the Quadram Institute, a brand new building on Norwich Research Park where the ME research is now located, is also enthusiastic about the prospects and has presented at the charity’s conferences.

“The development of this new centre, together with the other expertise and facilities located at the Norwich Research Park, puts it in a very good position to lead a UK and European Centre of Excellence for biomedical research for M.E. to provide possible prevention and solutions.”
Professor Ian Charles, Journal of IiME Abstract 2015

Let’s Do It for ME’s Rosalind Amor
The Link Spring 2019

BBC Look East has so far screened two excellent reports on the Norwich ME research, and the latest update in The Link, Norwich Research Park’s magazine, is in the Spring 2019 issue.

Carding Lab and QI colleagues are proactive in raising awareness and funds for Invest in ME Research. They braved the Chilli M.E. Challenge in 2015. Watch out for their second World Shirt Day next year!

By July 2019 the total raised for Invest in ME Research for the biomedical studies designed to find cause/s and treatment/s for ME is £900k!

This amount includes a generous pledge by the Hendrie Foundation to help Invest in ME Research fund a UK clinical treatment trial.

It also includes funding of B-cell studies (also supported by Hendrie Foundation) undertaken at UCL by PhD student Fane Mensah with Dr. Jo Cambridge. This work was initiated as Invest in ME Research planned to fund a trial of the B-cell depletion drug Rituximab, but is also a valuable contribution in its own right. Fane’s paper on the initial B-cell study was the first of the Invest in ME Research funded PhD students to be published (read more on the charity’s research blog) and has his PhD viva 1st August 2019. Good luck Fane!

UPDATE: He did it! Congratulations Dr. Fane Mensah!


Fane Mensah at IACFS 2016 USA conference in USA with the Haukeland ME research team

A UK Rituximab trial did not go ahead as the results of the large multi-centre double-blind placebo-controlled Phase III trial in Norway failed to show differences between the drug and placebo group to justify further trials. Dr. Fluge’s presentation at the 14th Invest in ME Research Conference #IIMEC14 in May 2019 on the Rituximab and Cyclophosphamide clinical trials is on YouTube.

What’s next?


Professor Simon Carding IIMEC14 2019

In his presentation at the 14th Invest in ME Research Conference #IIMEC14 in May 2019, Professor Carding announced plans underway to start a clinical trial of faecal microbiome transplantation (FMT) at Quadram Institute in 2020.

Invest in ME Research has been able to pledge half the £871k estimated cost (including the Hendrie Foundation pledge for a UK clinical trial) so £435k is still needed and that is where they need your help again if you feel up to the challenge!

The trial brings all the Centre of Excellence elements together and involves a lot of interesting work including technology, collaboration and new outcome measures to take things forward.


Professor Simon Carding IIMEC14 2019

Here’s our web page about the trial.

We’ve created a dedicated page for donations to the FMT trial on Wonderful, an entirely fee-free fundraising platform so 100% of your donations go direct to Invest in ME Research.

We also have a page on JustGiving.

As ever, we know many of you will create your own fundraising pages or offline fundraising initiatives for the FMT trial, so please contact us if you’d like us to feature your fundraiser.

Money is tight for many of us long-term ill so if you’re able to share links to help spread the word that is also much appreciated.

Watch out for chances to simply vote for the charity in funding award contests and other ways to raise funds for free.

Help fund an FMT trial? Let’s Do It!

And there’s more…

UK may leave the EU but Invest in ME Research and the Centre of Excellence work remains firmly connected to Europe.

Invest in ME Research is a founding member patient organisation of the European ME Alliance, which joined the European Federation of Neurological Associations and formed the European ME Research Group in 2015 and the European ME Clinicians Council in 2019.

Prof Carding also announced at the conference a new GP Fellowship scheme and a joint UK-Sweden (European ME Research Group) PhD studentship. Read more about all these initiatives in the June 2019 Invest in ME Research newsletter.

Dr. Vicky Whittemore of the US NIH Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has been involved with the London conference events in recent years. She said at a previous US conference that she liked what Invest in ME were doing in UK. NIH has subsequently funded three Centers of Excellence in US and hosted a Thinking the Future meeting in Washington. Newsletter here.

Daniel Vipond represented Quadram Institute and Invest in ME Research at the NIH researcher meetings in Washington.

Accompanied by Carding Lab supervisor, Let’s Do It for ME Bear!

This is just a snapshot of the past eight years and focusing on the Invest in ME Research Centre of Excellence work.

They do so much more besides in terms of advocacy and campaigning for biomedical research and medical treatment.

Their work, the Centre and the crowdfunding was raised by several MPs in recent UK Parliamentary debates on ME.

Even well funded diseases rely on substantial donations from the public to carry out research so even as the charity succeeds in mainstreaming ME research they will need support from donations, sponsorship and fundraising until their goals are met.

When you consider what’s been achieved by a small volunteer-run charity on a tight budget in a relatively short time, it’s nothing short of amazing!

But then they have always stressed the urgent need to make rapid progress after decades of neglect of ME patients.

Slide from presentation at NIH

Once again, please know that we are enormously grateful to everyone supporting our campaign to help Invest in ME Research achieve their goals, too many to mention here but you know who you are and please spread word to bring new friends on board.

You can take a look at many of the 2019 fundraisers. Georgina and Phoebe are the latest. On Sunday, these two intrepid 13 year olds kayaked 26 miles (1 extra mile than planned) in torrential rain and challenging circumstances to say the least, after weeks of training as total novices!! They did this to help raise awareness and funds for the charity’s biomedical research as Georgina’s sister was struck by ME aged 14. You can support them on Wonderful here.

On Saturday, Steve Martin takes part in the Cleveland Steelman event – Swim 2000 metres, Cycle 58 miles, Run 20k. He has already run the Greater Manchester Marathon and the London Marathon to raise funds for Invest in ME Research in support of our very own Paul Kayes and other sufferers. Not surprisingly Steve is a little nervous ahead of this event and is carrying a shoulder injury, he is however spurred on by the generosity of his friends and family who have sponsored him.

Thank you so much!!!

Please bear with as we proceed to update our other web pages after eight years of doing it for ME! Any questions, please contact us.

Thank you for supporting Invest in ME Research!