Invest in ME and the NIH joined forces last year to set up a series of “Thinking the Future” workshops. Their idea is that by bringing together a group of international young researchers in ME/CFS ideas would be shared, and collaborations initiated. Having joined their recent meeting in London, I hope that such events can be expanded into workshops or conferences hosted in centres of ME research around the world.
This workshop tied in well with a previous one in Bethesda (USA).
Good feedback from that event influenced the setup in London.
In particular, with such a small group, introducing those present at the start was an important change, and helped to facilitate conversations during breaks and over dinner.
As I am currently writing a review article on the biomedical basis of ME, it was invaluable to see so many presentations and to have a chance to discuss them with the presenters.
Overall, my view is that we need more well-powered studies into the biomedical causes of ME, and further replication work. But from this workshop I am hopeful that the field is beginning to move in a good direction, and that the standard and quality of science are continuing to improve.
Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine
University of Edinburgh