Norges ME Forening (NMEF), the Norwegion ME Association, has over 2,000 members with activities in 16 counties and is a prominent supporter of biomedical research into ME.
Event: IIMEC10 – The 10th Invest in ME International ME Conference 2015
Date: 29th May 2015 Place: London, UK
IIMEC10, the tenth such annual biomedical research conference to be organized by the charity Invest in ME (IiME), is a big ticket event attracting researchers, physicians, patient groups and journalists from around the world.
The conference showcases the current and future directions of diagnosis, treatment and biomedical research into myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), sometimes called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
In an area that is woefully underfunded and under-researched, the conference fulfills a vital role in increasing international collaboration between researchers looking into ME.
Trailblazers for change
Kathleen McCall, chairman of IiME and IiMER, said the Norwegian ME Association “have been trailblazers for change with regard to ME perception, treatment and awareness and it is no surprise that some of the most promising biomedical research into ME is being conducted in Norway.
“We are always delighted to have so many good friends in Norway, many actually coming to the annual conference, and this support again underlines the importance of EMEA and the collaboration between the member groups and researchers from these countries,” McCall said.
“One of IiME/IiMER’s objectives is to develop and expand international translational biomedical research into ME and the projects the charity has initiated include already collaboration with the Norwegian researchers in Bergen. We want this to continue.”
Biomedical research into ME is, thanks to conferences and research meetings organised by groups like Invest in ME, increasingly receiving attention on the international stage.
The Norwegian Health Directorate has allocated funding for biomedical research into ME following the Fluge et al (2011) clinical trial using Rituximab (Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody) to successfully treat ME patients.
The successful Rituximab trial is part of a growing mountain of evidence of immune dysfunction in ME patients. According to the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), there is “now preliminary evidence supporting the view that inflammatory mechanisms in the brain and spinal cord may underlie the pathophysiology of some severe disease CFS/ME phenotypes.”
IIME’s microbiome project is centre stage
IiMER recently locked in Professor Ian Charles, Director Institute of Food Research at Norwich (UK), as the keynote speaker at IIMEC10.
Prof. Charles officially joins the Institute of Food Research in May as lead in the UK’s new Centre for Food & Health programme, to be based at the Norwich Research Park.
He has over 30 years’ experience in academic and commercial research and was a founding member of The Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research at University College London, one the UK’s first institutes of translational medicine.
Prof. Charles also worked in the pharmaceutical industry at Glaxo Wellcome, and was a founder and CSO of biotech companies in the area of infectious disease, including Arrow Therapeutics, later sold to AstraZeneca, and Auspherix, a venture capital-backed company founded in 2013.
His current research interests include infectious diseases as well as the microbiome and its impact on health and wellbeing.
Biomedical research is high on the agenda
Underlining IiME’s strong focus on biomedical research, an international lineup of ME researchers will present their latest findings at the conference. Professor Ian Charles, the conference keynote speaker, will present Solving ME: What a Research Park Has to Offer in Resolving a Chronic Disease.
Other prominent speakers already committed include:
- Dr Amolak Bansal, Diagnosis and Differential Diagnosis: Combining clinic and research
- Professor Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik/Dr Don Staines, Update from National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases – NCNED
- Dr Jo Cambridge, B-cell biology and ME/CFS
- Professor Mady Hornig, Markers of Immunity and Metabolism in ME/CFS
- Professor Jonas Bergquist, Proteomics in ME/CFS
- Dr Claire Hutchinson, Biomarkers for ME: Visual Processing and ME/CFS
- Dr John Chia, Enterovirus Research in ME/CFS
- Dr Oystein Fluge/Professor Olav Mella, Multi-centre Rituximab Clinical Trial for ME/CFS
- Norges ME Forening [website]
- IIMEC10 International ME Conference for 2015 – Registration [registration]
- IIMEC10 International ME Conference for 2015 – Home [IIMEC10]
- Fluge Ø, Bruland O, Risa K, Storstein A, Kristoffersen EK, et al. (2011) Benefit from B-Lymphocyte Depletion Using the Anti-CD20 Antibody Rituximab in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. A Double-Blind and Placebo-Controlled Study. PLoS ONE 6(10): e26358. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026358 [Full paper]