Pledge by 16th October to Big Give Challenge!

UPDATE: Matching Donation Period starts midday (12pm GMT) Friday 4th December –


Invest in ME charity was pleased to announce in August that one their projects was selected for The Big Give Christmas Challenge. The project is to fund two more intercalating medical students from the University of East Anglia Medical School to take part in medical research related to myalgic encephalomyeltis (ME).

Medical students often learn very little about the disease myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). What they do learn is out-of-date and based on a page that is based on flawed research. This means that students leave medical training ill-prepared for understanding or treating ME. By participating in the actual biomedical research they not only learn far more about the disease but are also given the potential to find treatment or cause. This helps the student, the university and, ultimately, patient.

The charity has had great success with the two current intercalating fourth year medical students Navena Navaneetharaja and Bharat Harbham. Navena spent over three months at Cornell University in New York with Professor Maureen Hanson and Bharat has been working under the guidance of Professor Angela Vincent in Oxford.

Medical & PhD Students at IIMEC10 2015
The Next Generation at IIMEC10 May 2015

Navena and Bharat have been of great help to Daniel Vipond, the PhD student funded by Invest in ME to work on the foundation study on the gut microbiome in ME. With Fane Mensah (UCL) they were ‘The Next Generation’ taking part in a panel discussion at the 10th Invest in ME Conference (IIMEC10) in London in May.

This work underpins the next phases of the charity’s continuing project to establish a Centre of Excellence for ME and a strategic range of biomedical research into myalgic encephalomyelitis, having successfully engaged the keen interest of scientists leading in their own field to set to work on unraveling the complexities of this neglected disease. See IIME Advisory Board.

We invite you to join us in helping Invest in ME to fund two more intercalating medical students using the Big Give Christmas Challenge campaign.

The students will be attached to one of the projects being funded by the charity. They will be supervised by professors involved in the research and learn about the disease as well as perform vital roles in the research itself. This may also involve seeing patients. By intercalating in their fourth year they gain valuable insights into the disease as well as returning to their studies with more confidence and ability to educate other students about ME.

Cost of IIME intercalating medical student project: £10,000
The Big Give Champion Funds: £2,500
October Pledge Target: £2,500
December Matching Target: £5,000

The first phase is to collect pledges from supporters by 16th October.

Pledges will be matched by Big Give Champion Funds to a total of £2500.

The sum of pledges (target £2500) plus champion funds (up to £2500) will then used for a matching donation (up to £5000) period in December.

Pledgers cannot donate to the charity online during December.

To pledge a minimum of £100 to this project, please use The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2015 Pledge Form. No payment details are required at this stage.

Pledges are paid after the matching period and by 15th January.

UPDATE: £2500 target reached – thank you!

Please see Invest in ME website for full details of The Big Give Christmas Challenge. Thank you for your support!

UPDATE: At the inaugural meeting of EMERG this week, it was clear that this scheme to fund intercalating medical students is paying dividends and tentative agreement was given to place students at other UK universities.

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Over £600k on Our Way to a Million!

A winning combination of philanthropy and proactive patient power has sped us past the £600,000 milestone on the way to our fundraising target of £1,000,000 for the charity Invest in ME Research biomedical research strategy.

Invest in ME Research announced that the Hendrie Foundation has kindly increased their funding pledge to the charity’s B-cell / Rituximab Research Fund by a further £50,000 to a total of £275,000 pledged.

Together with recent donations, including £10,000 from a sponsor wishing to remain anonymous, this generous gesture takes the current total raised by our community crowdfunding campaign to well over £600,000 and rising.

The Invest in ME Research Centre of Excellence translational biomedical research is designed to establish reliable diagnostic tests and effective treatments for myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) to benefit patients and doctors alike.

Two current major research projects are: the role of the gut microbiome in ME at IFR/UEA; and the role of B-cells in ME at UCL, adding value to the current Phase 3 multi-centre clinical trial of rituximab in ME patients in Norway and leading to a UK clinical trial of rituximab in Norwich (Invest in ME Research update here).

Both projects include progressive national and international collaboration with clinicians and scientists involved in biomedical research. This collaboration is ongoing and facilitated by the Invest in ME Conference (IIMEC) and Biomedical Researchers into ME Colloquium (BRMEC).

If you already help to raise funds for this vital research strategy then we cannot thank you enough. We have long-term and severe ME and we are intent on helping Invest in ME Research to change the landscape of diagnosis and treatment of this disease for the next generation, as well as maintaining realistic hope for our own futures, thanks to their extraordinary vision and work.

If you are new to our site, then we extend a warm welcome and invite you to join us in our proactive support of Invest in ME Research charity’s work on establishing a Centre of Excellence for ME – the first of its kind in UK/Europe and with national and international collaboration. This is urgent and vital work.

The charity itself is run by dedicated volunteers working in their own time and without pay. Funds we raise are for their biomedical research strategy.

Please browse our site to find a number of ways you can help raise funds for the charity at no extra cost to yourself, such as using a referral link or cash-back site when shopping online, buying cards and gifts from supporters donating full or part profits to Invest in ME, braving the heat of the Chilli M.E. Challenge, or being sponsored for anything from going Facebook-free to climbing Kilimanjaro.

You can subscribe to our blog to receive updates by email. Contact us if you’d like to write a guest blog. Recent posts are also featured in our news stream.

Thank you for your support!


Further reading on our site:

March on a Million

IIME Research on Gut Microbiome

IIME Research on B-cells / Rituximab

IIME Conference & Colloquium

IIME Centre of Excellence