— Let’s Do It for ME! (@LetsDoIt4ME) March 31, 2014
The Gut Microbiota Research is the first element in Invest in ME Research’s proposal to establish a Centre of Excellence for ME in the UK.
The focus of the research programme is the role of infection and the immune system in the pathophysiology of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and most of the immune system is located in the gut. This research will be looking for all viruses and determining the relevance of those found.
Thanks to extraordinary efforts and dedication of patients and their carers, families and friends the £100,000 needed to enable this programme of biomedical research to begin was crowdfunded by May 2013.
This funded a PhD studentship project under the guidance of Professors Tom Wileman and Simon Carding (pictured in tweet with Daniel Vipond and Let’s Do It for ME Bear) based at Norwich Research Park, involving Norwich Medical School, Quadram Institute Bioscience, University of East Anglia, and Earlham Institute’s sequencing facilities.
These are world-renowned organisations, institutes and researchers, with expertise in this area and well placed to perform this research.
The foundation study titled ‘A role for a leaky gut and the intestinal microbiota in the pathophysiology of myalgic encephalomyelitis’ aims to determine if alterations in intestinal barrier function and/or microbiota exist in ME patients, and whether microbe-driven inflammatory responses can provide an explanation for the pathophysiology of ME. It is described below along with subsequent studies in the programme.
Importantly this foundation research project will also enable a database to be established for use in further research. It was first proposed in 2010 by the Invest in ME Steering Group formed to instigate the setting up of the examination and research facility. More on the proposal here.
We helped raise a further £700,000 for next phases of the Invest in ME Research Centre of Excellence biomedical research programme and to help build a solid base of research into ME, funding follow-on studentships at UEA and UCL which complement the work already underway to establish the foundations for a Centre of Excellence for ME.
Further 3 year studentships at UEA/IFR under the supervision of Professors Carding and Wileman are joint funded by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and Invest in ME Research.
The multidisciplinary projects benefit from the collaborations Invest in ME Research have built up over the years since 2006 of organising and hosting international biomedical research conferences and researcher meetings.
In particular they benefit from current collaborations with the neuroimmunology group of Professor Angela Vincent at Oxford University; Professor Jo Cambridge’s group at University College London, leading research in B-cell depletion for autoimmune disease and including a PhD studentship funded by Invest in ME Research; and Professor Maureen Hanson’s group at Cornell University, USA, where one of the medical students involved in the Invest in ME Research Centre of Excellence research spent three months. More about the Medical Students scheme here.
Summary of each of the PhD studentship projects below. For full details click here.
For more information & updates on the projects visit
Invest in ME Research – Let’s Do It!
Ways to Donate to the Invest in ME Research on Gut Microbiota
Text IBRF33 (£1-£5 or £10) to 70070 (UK only).
Bank: Lloyds TSB Heartsease
Sorting code: 77-66-53
Account number: 22439568
Bank Transfer from outside the UK
(please write BRF on the back to specify the Biomedical Research Fund)
Send cheques payable to Invest in ME Research to:
Invest in ME Research
PO Box 561
Download a Gift Aid form (UK tax-payers)
IiMER Centre of Excellence project is on – Big Give
IiMER is on – BT mydonate
Full info, FAQs, News, Donate – on Invest in ME Research website.
Thank you for your support!