New Research Initiative in Memory of Anne Örtegren

The PhD studentship established in memory of Anne Örtegren has started two years to the day since her passing. This joint UK-Swedish studentship is funded by Invest in ME Research and University of East Anglia.

Anne Örtegren was an outstanding advocate for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, a great friend to Invest in ME Research, and a generous supporter of the Let’s Do It for ME fundraising for the charity’s UK/European Centre of Excellence programme of biomedical research and medical education.

Anne’s suffering from this dreadful disease became unbearable, and she had arranged to end her life in January 2018.

They had never met in person, but Anne had corresponded with Invest in ME since 2007, the year after they had formed as a charity.

Anne was not just a good friend of the charity, she was an inspiration and a reason to continue to work hard to get high-quality biomedical research into ME and up-to-date education in healthcare and the disease. Anne was also a vital link in helping Invest in ME Research continue working to build international collaboration, especially in her native Sweden.

The new PhD project links with the research of Professor Jonas Bergquist, continuing long-standing collaboration between Norwich and Uppsala University, and would have also involved the late Professor Jonas Blomberg, who sadly passed away in 2019.

The Principal Investigators for this PhD project are Professor Simon Carding, Group Leader, Quadram Institute Bioscience, and Dr. Penny Powell, Senior Lecturer in Cell and Molecular Virology and FMH Associate Dean PGR, Norwich Medical School, UEA.

This PhD project will augment the forthcoming UK FMT clinical trial. The aim of the project is to determine the impact faecal microbiota transplanation has on the intestinal virome and on host viral immune responses in parallel with clinical outcomes in ME patients. Treatment outcomes will be assessed clinically through cognitive function and activity monitoring tests.

The project will involve microbiome and virome profiling and functionality, and pathogen discovery through bioinformatics analysis. In addition, in Uppsala, patient samples will be used for metabolomic analysis and assessing the function of the transplanted microbiota.

This joint project is another way for Invest in ME Research to honour Anne’s memory and her work. The inaugural Anne Örtegren Memorial Lecture at the charity’s international biomedical research conference in 2018 was given by Professor Theoharis C. Theoharides on the topic of Mast Cells and Professor Jonas Blomberg gave a tribute to Anne. In 2019, the subject of the Anne Örtegren Memorial Lecture was Pain and was presented by Professor Stuart Bevan.

The results of Anne’s tireless efforts are also reflected in the work of Invest in ME Research as they continue to facilitate collaborations between researchers in different countries and also clinicians by initiating the European ME Clinicians Council (EMECC).

To mark the start of the new PhD project, Team Let’s Do It for ME has created a fundraising page Remembering Anne Örtegren for donations to the next phase of the UK/European Centre of Excellence projects.

This is the last week for you to provide online input about the research for the upcoming Public Engagement Meeting next month.

Thank you everyone for remembering Anne Örtegren.

Thank you for supporting Invest in ME Research.

LINKS

Joint UK-Sweden PhD Project
UK FMT Trial for ME
2019 Conference Report
Anne Örtegren Memorial Lecture May 2019
Professor Jonas Blomberg February 2019
Anne Örtegren – A Year On January 2019
2018 Conference Report
Anne Örtegren Memorial Lecture May 2018
Farewell to a Friend January 2018
Farewell – A Last Post from Anne Örtegren

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