The Infectious Aetiology of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis


Overview

The 13th Biomedical Research into ME Research Colloquium (BRMEC13), organised by the charity, brings together international scientists and clinicians dedicated to myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME, sometimes referred to as ME/CFS).
This event serves as a platform for advancing research by facilitating the exchange of knowledge and collaboration, thereby contributing to a deeper global understanding of ME.

This year's theme, "Acknowledging the acceptance by both clinicians and researchers of 'THE INFECTIOUS AETIOLOGY’ of ME/CFS' focuses on uncovering the complexities of ME, exploring acute infection, chronic infection, and co-infection.
#BRMEC13 introduces an collaborative format with sessions led by experts from the European ME Research Group.
These sessions cover various aspects of ME research, facilitating in-depth discussions on Chronic Infection, Nervous System and Neuroinflammation, Immune System, Metabolism, Epigenomes and Transcriptomes, Physiology, and Other Non-Infectious Trauma.

The meeting is by invitation only to ensure confidentiality of data presented.
While maintaining an exclusive, invitation-only status to ensure data confidentiality, the Colloquium encourages collaboration among researchers, that will facilitate meaningful advancements in understanding and treating ME, all in the quest to improve the lives of individuals living with this condition.
With a continuing focus on advancing our understanding of ME and exploring potential treatments, BRMEC13 brings together leading minds to collaborate and drive progress in the quest to improve the lives of individuals living with ME.
It serves as a vital platform for researchers, clinicians, and advocates to share the latest advancements in biomedical research related to ME. Combined with the following IIMEC16 Clinicians' Conference, we seek to combined and derived knowledge to focus on answering the pivotal question, "What's Next?" for ME research.

We and our advisors recognise the imperative for progress in ME research, understanding that researchers need significantly improved methods for stratifying patients in both research and clinical trials.
This involves acquiring extensive, in-depth clinical data covering as much of the natural history of disease development and progression for individual patients as possible. These essential requirements guide our efforts to propel ME research to new heights.
Our events underscore the urgency for progress in ME research. By concentrating on patient stratification, enhancing clinical trials, and acquiring extensive clinical data, the event aims to elevate ME research, offering a clearer understanding of disease development and progression.

CPD-accreditation being applied for


Participating

Some of the institutes, organisations and agencies that will have speakers, representatives and participants attending the conference week 2024 events -

Quadram Institute
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
University of East Anglia
University of Oslo
University of Amsterdam
University of Bergen
University of Helsinki
University of Uppsala
Nova Southeastern University, Miami
Université de Montréal
Charité University Hospital, Berlin
Stanford Genome Technology Center
Universidad Católica de Valencia
Harvard Medical School
Aarhus Universitet
Georgetown University
Copenhagen University Hospital
European ME Research Group
Cornell University
University of South Florida
University of Amsterdam
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Medical University of Vienna
Mayo Clinic
Young EMERG

Programme

BRMEC13 Conference Agenda

The colloquium will start at approximately 08.45 on each day and close at approximately 18.00, after which there will be an evening dinner for registered delegates where more opportunities for discussion and networking will take place.

# Session Presenter(s)
08:50 Welcome to BRMEC13 - Objectives Simon Carding
Quadram Institute, UK / European ME Research Group (EMERG)
- Nervous System and Neuroinflammation Session chair: Jon Brooks
University of East Anglia, UK
tbc Various Speakers
- Discussions Chaired discussion amongst delegates
- Immune System Primary and Secondary Session chair: Eva Untersmayr-Elsenhuber
Medical University of Vienna, Austria / EMERG
tbc Various Speakers
- Discussions Chaired discussion amongst delegates
- Metabolism Body and Cell Session chair: Rikke Olsen
Aarhus Universitet, Denmark / EMERG
tbc Various Speakers
- Discussions Chaired discussion amongst delegates
- Discussions Chaired discussion amongst delegates
- BRMEC13 Day 1: Summary and Group Discussion Chaired discussion amongst delegates

# Session Presenter(s)
08:50 Welcome and Overview of Day 2 Simon Carding
Quadram Institute, UK / European ME Research Group (EMERG)
- Epigenomes and Transcriptomes Session chair: Professor Elisa Oltra, Universidad Catolica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir, Spain
tbc Various Speakers
- Discussions Chaired discussion amongst delegates
- Physiology Session chair: Jonas Bergquist
University of Uppsala, Sweden / EMERG
tbc Session chair: Professor Elisa Oltra, Universidad Catolica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir, Spain
- Discussions Chaired discussion amongst delegates
- Other non-infectious trauma as initiator of ME Session chair: Jos Bosch
University of Amsterdam / EMERG
tbc Various Speakers
- Discussions Chaired discussion amongst delegates
- Clinical Trials Session chair: Dr Jesper Mehlsen
Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark / EMERG
tbc Various Speakers
- Discussions Chaired discussion amongst delegates
- BRMEC13 Day 2: Summary and Group Discussion Chaired discussion amongst delegates

Dr Vicky Whittemore

USA

Dr. Whittemore oversees a grant portfolio that includes basic, translational and clinical studies on epilepsy. These include grants on sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), the genetic epilepsies, and seizure localization studies. In addition, she oversees a grant portfolio on myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and fatigue. Her additional interests are in research on global health issues, stigma, and co-morbidities.

Professor Ronald Davis
Professor of Biochemistry and Genetics at the Stanford School of Medicine in Stanford, California, USA

USA

Ronald W. Davis, Ph.D., is a Professor of Biochemistry and Genetics at the Stanford School of Medicine in Stanford, California.

He is a world leader in the development of biotechnology, especially the development of recombinant DNA and genomic methodologies and their application to biological systems.

At Stanford University, where he is Director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center, Dr. Davis focuses on the interface of nano-fabricated solid state devices and biological systems.

He and his research team also develop novel technologies for the genetic, genomic, and molecular analysis of a wide range of model organisms as well as humans.

The team's focus on practical application of these technologies is setting the standard for clinical genomics.

Research Leader, Quadram Institute Bioscience, Norwich Research Park, UK

Professor Simon Carding

UK

Upon completing postgraduate work at the Medical Research Council’s Clinical Research Centre in Harrow, Professor Carding “emigrated” to the USA to take up a postdoctoral position at New York University School of Medicine, and then at Yale University as a Howard Hughes Fellow in the Immunobiology Group at Yale University. While at Yale an interest in gamma-delta (γδ) T cells was acquired working closely with Adrian Hayday on molecular genetics and then with Prof. Peter Doherty to establish their role in (viral) infectious disease.
He left Yale after five years to take up a faculty position at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where he developed a research interest in mucosal and GI-tract immunology, performing studies in germfree mice with Prof John Cebra that helped establish the role of gut microbes in the aetiology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
After 15 years in the USA, he returned to the UK to take up the Chair in Molecular Immunology at the University of Leeds where he established a new research programme on commensal gut bacteria and Bacteroides genetics leading to the development of a Bacteroides drug delivery platform that is being used for developing new interventions for IBD and for mucosal vaccination.
In 2008 he was recruited by UEA and IFR to develop a gut research programme, taking up the Chair of Mucosal Immunology at UEA-MED and the position of head of the Gut Biology Research Programme at IFR, which later became part of the Gut Health and Food Safety (GHFS) Programme.
GHFS research covers a broad area of gut biology including epithelial cell physiology, mucus and glycobiology, mucosal immunology, commensal microbiology, foodborne bacterial pathogens, and mathematical modelling and bioinformatics. The success of this programme has led to the establishment of the Gut Microbes and Health research programme that is integral to the research agenda of The Quadram Institute.

Dr Avindra Nath

USA

Dr. Nath received his MD degree from Christian Medical College in India in 1981 and completed a residency in Neurology from University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, followed by a fellowship in Multiple Sclerosis and Neurovirology at the same institution and then a fellowship in Neuro-AIDS at NINDS.

He held faculty positions at the University of Manitoba (1990-97) and the University of Kentucky (1997-02).

In 2002, he joined Johns Hopkins University as Professor of Neurology and Director of the Division of Neuroimmunology and Neurological Infections.

He joined NIH in 2011 as the Clinical Director of NINDS, the Director of the Translational Neuroscience Center and Chief of the Section of Infections of the Nervous System.

His research focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of retroviral infections of the nervous system and the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for these diseases.

Institute for Virology and Immunobiology, University of Wuerzburg

Dr Bhupesh Prusty

Germany

Bhupesh Prusty currently works at the Institute for Virology and Immunobiology, University of Wuerzburg. Bhupesh does research in Microbiology and Virology. His current research focuses on ciHHV-6 reactivation and its clinical consequences.

University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre CRCHUM · Biochemistry and molecular medicine

Professor Alain Moreau

Canada

Since October 2000, Dr. Moreau has been Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics of Musculoskeletal Diseases/malformations. His team is interested in the molecular genetics of musculoskeletal diseases in children (scoliosis) and adults (osteoarthritis). Their work mainly focuses on musculoskeletal diseases that affect children (congenital malformations, bone and cartilage tumours), adolescents (idiopathic scoliosis) and adults (osteoarthritis and joint cartilage degeneration). In addition, his team studies the molecular mechanisms involved in the inflammation and regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues. Dr. Moreau is an active member of the Bone and Periodontium Research Center (a consortium of researchers working in the field of bone) set up by McGill University, the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research and the Scoliosis Society of Quebec. He is also the thematic leader of the Molecular Biology and Genetics Axis of the Scoliosis Quebec Network.

Full Chair Professor in Analytical Chemistry and Neurochemistry at the Department of Chemistry, Uppsala University, Sweden

Professor Jonas Bergquist

Sweden

Professor Begquist has a background as MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Neuroscience , Sahlgrenska University Hospital and the University of Gothenburg. Since 1999 , he has been a researcher in Uppsala, Sweden, and in 2005 was appointed professor of analytical chemistry and neurochemistry at the Department of Chemistry - BMC , Uppsala University. From 2011 he worked also as an adjunct professor of pathology at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Research Director, Coordinating Research Centre, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, Denmark
Co-chair European ME Research Group

Dr Jesper Mehlsen

Denmark

Dr Jesper Mehlsen graduated as a medical doctor in 1979 and finished his specialist training in 1990. He has published more than 140 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals, mainly on the autonomic nervous system and more recently on complex diseases possibly resulting form HPV-vaccination.
For more than 35 years, he has worked clinically and in research with dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. Such dysfunction may lead to symptoms from a number of different organs often dominated by diminished control of blood pressure and heart rate.
Over the past 5 years, he has worked clinically and in research with patients who suspect side effects due to HPV vaccination to be the cause of a number of symptoms, common to those seen in chronic ME.
Dr Mehlsen is co-chair of the European ME Research Group (EMERG).

Assistant Professor of Medicine. Institution. Brigham and Women's Hospital

Dr David Systrom

USA

Dr. David M. Systrom is a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is also an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School (now known as Geisel School of Medicine).

Nova Southeastern University, Florida, USA

Professor Nancy Klimas

USA

Director, Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine, Nova Southeastern University.
Director, Clinical Immunology Research, Miami VAMC
Professor of Medicine, Department of Clinical Immunology, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University
Chair, Department of Clinical Immunology, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University
Professor Emerita, University of Miami, School of Medicine
n for her research and clinical efforts in multi-symptom disorders, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), War Illness (GWI), Fibromyalgia, and other Neuro Immune Disorders. She is immediate past president of the International Association for CFS and ME (IACFS/ME), a professional organization of clinicians and investigators, and is also a member of the VA Research Advisory Committee for GWI, the NIH P2P CFS Committee, and the Institute of Medicine ME/CFS Review Panel. Dr. Klimas has advised three Secretaries of Health and Human Services, including Kathleen Sabelius, during her repeated service on the Health and Human Services CFS Advisory Committee. Dr. Klimas has been featured on Good Morning America, in USA Today and the New York Times.

Associate Professor Rikke Katrine Jentoft Olsen
Research Unit for Molecular Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark

Our research group has a longstanding interest in inborn errors of mitochondrial metabolism with special focus on fatty acid oxidation disorders. We integrate genetic diagnostics of affected families with research into cell pathological mechanisms and novel treatment modalities in the form of mitochondrial vitamins/co-factors and anaplerotic compounds for the tricarboxylic acid cycle. In recent years, we have initiated research programs to understand the role that mitochondria may play in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

Besides science, Rikke KJ Olsen is an active member of the Neonatal Screening Program for inborn errors of metabolism in Denmark and board member of international scientific organisations within fatty acid oxidation disorders and ME/CFS.

University of Oslo and EMERG

Professor Ola Didrik Saugstad

Norway

Ola Didrik Saugstad is a Norwegian pediatrician and neonatologist, who is internationally recognized for his research on resuscitation of newborn children. Since 1991, he has been Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Oslo and Director of the Department of Pediatric Research at the National Hospital.

Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, New York, USA

Professor Maureen Hanson

USA

Maureen Hanson is Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Previously she was on the faculty of the Department of Biology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and an NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, where she also completed her Ph.D. degree. While most of her prior research has concerned cell and molecular biology in plant cells, she began a research program on ME/CFS after noting at a 2007 IACFS meeting the paucity of molecular biologists studying the illness. Her lab was part of the 2012 multicenter study organized by Ian Lipkin's group at Columbia University to assess the actual role of XMRV in ME/CFS. Dr. Hanson has a current project to examine the microbiome of ME/CFS patients and controls, in collaboration with Dr. Ruth Ley (Cornell Microbiology) and Susan Levine, M.D. (Manhattan, NY). Dr Levine is also collaborating with Dr. Hanson on an immune cell gene expression project that involves Dr. Fabien Campagne and Dr. Rita Shaknovich at Weill Cornell Medical School in New York City. Dr. Hanson's third project concerns analysis of blood samples from individuals performing a two-day cardiopulmonary exercise test at Ithaca College under the supervision of Dr. Betsy Keller.

Professor Kristian Sommerfelt

Norway

Kristian Sommerfelt is a paediatrician. He completed his medical degree at the University of Bergen in 1981 and specialist in paediatrics in 1994. Dr degree in 1997 with the theme of premature children and later development. Since 1987, he has worked at the Children's Clinic (now the Children's and Adolescent Clinic) at Haukeland University Hospital, now as senior physician at the section for pediatric neurology and habilitation. Kristian has adjunct position as professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine 2, University of Bergen. He specialises in headaches, epilepsy and ME/CFS, but has broad experience in the entire field of child neurology. For the past 12 years, he has had a special interest in children and young people with ME/CFS, both directly with patient work and in research. He is particularly concerned with investigation, diagnosis and the transfer of knowledge to the first-line service and school. He has broad scientific experience with articles in international journals and authorship of chapters in several medical textbooks. He is a member of the European ME Research Group (EMERG) and European ME Clinicians Council (EMECC).

Institute for Biomedicine , Tronstad Lab, Bergen, Norway

Professor Karl Johan Tronstad

Norway

Prof. Tronstad completed his graduate studies in biochemistry at the University of Bergen (UiB) in 2002. As postdoc at the Haukeland University Hospital, he studied bioactive compounds with the potential to modulate mitochondrial functions in cancer cells. In 2005 he was recruited to the Department of Biomedicine, UiB, where he started his research group to investigate metabolism and mitochondrial physiology. His laboratory seeks to better our understanding of how defective mitochondrial homeostasis may disturb cell physiology, and how this may be involved in mechanisms of cancer and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). The Tronstad Lab investigates cell metabolism and mitochondrial biology.
Specialisms:
Metabolism, Cell biology, Mitochondria, Biochemistry

Professor Tom Wileman

USA

Tom Wileman took his first degree at the London School of Pharmacy, now part of University College. This was followed by a PhD at John Moore’s University Liverpool where he gained a keen interest in cell biology and immunology. A postdoctoral fellowship followed at Washington University in St Louis to study endocytosis and the macrophage mannose receptor with Philip Stahl. In 1986 he moved to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School to work with Cox Terhorst cloning genes for the signaling complex of the T-cell antigen receptor. He was appointed to Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School in 1991 and performed some of the first experiments on T-cell antigen receptor assembly and ER-stress related protein degradation. In 1994 he returned to the UK to the Institute for Animal Health (The Pirbright Institute, UK) as Head of Immunology to study how viruses such as foot and mouth disease virus and African swine fever virus use cellular organelles to facilitate replication and how this affects immune responses. In 2005 he moved to UEA where his lab studies how viruses activate autophagy during cell entry and replication.

Dr Wenzhong Xiao

USA

Dr. Xiao is assistant professor of Bioinformatics at Harvard Medical School and director of the Inflammation & Metabolism Computational Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also leads a Computational Genomics Group at Stanford Genome Technology Center. He holds a doctorate degree in chemistry and structural biology from University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree in statistics

Dr Lutz Schomburg

Germany

Prof. Dr. Lutz Schomburg received his training in biochemistry at the University of Hanover, Germany. He completed internships at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute, Adelaide, Australia, and King's College London, UK. He worked at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Endocrinology in Hannover, Germany, and received his PhD in 1994. As a postdoctoral fellow, he worked at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, with Prof. William W. Chin and at Julius Maximilians University, Würzburg, Germany, with Prof. Josef Köhrle. He is currently President of the International Society for Selenium Research and Deputy Director of the Institute for Experimental Endocrinology at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Associate Professor Julia Oh

USA

Postdoc, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health
Ph.D., Stanford University
B.A., Harvard University Read more

Associate Professor Brent Williams

USA

Brent L. Williams, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University.
Dr. William’s research focuses on the role of the microbiome in human health and disease. The human body harbors ten times as many microbial cells as human cells, and these complex, symbiotic microbial communities play a fundamental physiological role in maintaining human health through various mechanisms relating to digestion, metabolism, immunity, protection from infections, and development.
Dr. Williams applies state-of-the-art sequencing and computational techniques to gain mechanistic insights into how disruption of the human symbiotic microbial consortium contributes to disturbed host-microbe relationships and development of pathophysiological states.
His research relating to these topics is broad in scope ranging from investigations into the role of the microbiome in neurodevelopment and autism; mechanisms by which microbial metabolites influence epigenetic changes in colorectal cancer; identification of vaginal microbial community states that contribute to inflammation, adverse pregnancy outcomes and HIV risk; and evolutionary factors governing the structure of our microbiome through investigation of our closest living primate relatives.

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Professor James Stewart

Chair of Molecular Virology, Infection Biology & Microbiomes

International renounded in the field of virus-host interactions he trained as a molecular biologist, applying molecular techniques to study virus/host interactions, specifically the immune response.
A large part of his career has been spent studying pathogenesis and virus-host interactions, with a particular focus on the herpesvirus family.

Established the link between active EBV infection and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and showed that this a consequence of the normal biology of this group of viruses.

With Tony Nash, developed murine gammaherpesvirus in mice as a means of studying authentic host-virus interactions, exploiting the power of virus reverse genetics and KO mouse technology.

More recently research has moved to focus on virus-host interactions in the respiratory tract, using other respiratory pathogens such as influenza A virus and RSV. Developed an integrative toolkit and pathway with which to do this using conventional and molecular techniques to analyse the course of virus infection combined with big data techniques and informatics to relate the function of viral determinants with host defence responses. The ultimate aim is to translate this into novel interventions and vaccines.


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Dr Kiran Thapaliya

Australia

Research Fellow in the area of Neuroimaging with the National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases (NCNED).
Main research interest lies in the development of medical imaging methods for the direct in vivo mapping of tissue microstructure in Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and Long COVID. Kiran's research focuses on understanding how changes in tissue microstructure influence MRI signals and the development of new neuroimaging methods to identify biomarkers for ME/CFS and Long COVID.
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Professor Lubov Nathanson

USA

Dr. Lubov Nathanson is an experienced, versatile and multidisciplinary trained scientist with over 20 years of work experience in basic and translational genomics and proteomics research.
She has a combined expertise in bioinformatics, molecular biology, biochemistry and systems biology.
As an Associate Professor for the Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine, her work involves analysis of gene expression data of microarrays and RNA-seq experiments, analyzing systems biology including metabolic pathways and gene ontology, building gene interaction networks, creating custom pathways, and searching for upstream and downstream gene interactions. Additionally, she is an Adjunct Professor of the Master's of Science in Nutrition Program in the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine and an Adjunct Professor of the Math, Science, and Technology Division in the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography.

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Professor Hatice Tankisi

Denmark

Department of Clinical Medicine - Department of Clinical Neurophysiology
Hatice Tankisi is a consultant in Clinical Neurophysiology at Aarhus University Hospital and professor at Aarhus University, Denmark. She is serving as the secretary and treasurer of ExCo Europe-Middle East-Africa Chapter, International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology (EMEAC-IFCN) since 2018 and Co-chair of the Clinical Neurophysiology Panel, European Academy of Neurology (EAN) since 2020.
She was born and studied medicine and trained as a neurologist in Turkey and then moved to Denmark in 2000, trained as a neurophysiologist and did her PhD in Denmark. Her main research interests are peripheral nerve, muscle and cortical excitability tests with threshold tracking and motor unit number estimation methods for diagnosis and understanding disease pathophysiology in neurological disorders particularly ALS and polyneuropathy. She has more than 90 peer-reviewed papers and 6 book chapters. Hatice Tankisi has been a member of the European Multicenter EMG network, ESTEEM since 2000 and is serving as the leader of ESTEEM since 2020. She is also a member of the International Diabetic Neuropathy Consortium (IDNC), multicentre IMI-PainCare project and the QTMS Research Group.

Associate Professor Jos Bosch

Netherlands

In 2012 he was appointed associate professor in the Department of Psychology, section Clinical Psychology.

His research investigates the psychobiology of medical disorders, with the aim to understand and mitigate the impact of disease.

His dual expertise in psychology and biology allows him to approach this topic in a genuinely interdisciplinary manner, by integrating methods and concepts from both fields, and apply these to experimental laboratory studies, clinical investigations, and epidemiological analyses. More recently hsi work has expanded to include Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a source of novel approaches to the analysis and modification of human biology and behaviour. The latter program of research is funded by two H2020 consortium grants, of which he isa lead and a coordinator, and involves intensive collaborations with groups accross continental Europe, the UK, and the US.

Since 2019 he became Associate Editor of Health Psychology Review, having previously acted as associate/senior editor for Brain, Behavior & Immunity (2011-2014), Psychological Bulletin (2010-2013), and Health Psychology (2010-2015).

In 2018 he was appointed Program Leader of the AMC/VUmc research institute ‘Amsterdam Public Health' (APH), Divsion of Mental Health (https://www.amsterdamumc.org/research/institutes/amsterdam-public-health.htm). In 2020 I was reappointed for 2 more years.

In 2023 Jos was awarded a grant of more than seven million euros to commence new biomedical research into ME/CFS.

Further reading:

Amsterdam UMC leads international consortium in the search for treatment for ME/CFS

Assistant Professor Bradlee Heckman

University of South Florida, Health, Neuroscience Institute, Byrd Alzheimer's Center, USA

Bradlee L. Heckmann is an American biologist and neuroimmunologist who is currently an investigator at the Byrd Alzheimer's Center and USF Health Neuroscience Institute and assistant professor in molecular medicine at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. Prior to his faculty appointment, Heckmann held the John H. Sununu Endowed Fellowship[1] in immunology at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Heckmann's research is focused on understanding the regulation of inflammatory processes in the central nervous system, with particular emphasis on neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's Disease[2] and the role of the autophagy machinery in this setting. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradlee_Heckmann

Dr Thomas Vogl

Austria

Group Leader, Medical University of Vienna

Thomas Vogl studied Molecular Microbiology at the University of Graz and completed his PhD in "Molecular Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology’" at Graz University of Technology. International placements have taken him to Queensland University of Technology (Australia) and the Weizman Institute of Science (Israel). Most recently, he worked as a senior postdoc at the Diagnostics & Research Center for Molecular BioMedicine at MedUni Graz. Since August 2022, he has been leading a research group at the Center for Cancer Research at MedUni Vienna.

Dr. Thomas Vogl and his multidisciplinary team of molecular biologists, biochemists, and bioinformaticians are investigating which microbial and tumor factors are crucial for successful cancer therapies. Dr. Vogl's expertise lies in the combination of biological experiments with computer-assisted analyses. In this context, the immune system is analyzed in the laboratory using blood samples from patients alongside novel high-throughput methods.

Professor Qasim Aziz

UK

Professor Aziz after completing his undergraduate medical training in his native Pakistan he came to the UK in 1988 for higher medical training. After completing core medical training in Manchester, he started his research career at the University of Manchester as a Digestive Disorders Foundation (currently GUTS UK) clinical research fellow and obtained his PhD in 1996. He held posts of Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Professor of Gastroenterology at the University of Manchester, and is now Professor of Neurogastroenterology and Director of The Wingate Institute of Neurogastroenterology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London.

He has previously been a Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinician Scientist and has held the MRC Career Development Award. Throughout his career has held numerous prestigious research grants. His research interests are focused on understanding the neurophysiological basis of human gut sensory and motor function in health and disease and he has pioneered the use of a number of neurophysiological techniques to study the human brain gut axis. He is a keen educator for undergraduate and post graduate students and a frequent speaker at national and international conferences.

Professor Aziz has obtained national and international awards for his research the two most important being the British Society of Gastroenterology Research Gold Medal and the American Gastroenterology Association, Janssen Award for Basic and Clinical Research. He has published numerous original articles in reputed medical journals such as Nature Medicine, Nature Neuroscience, Lancet and Gastroenterology. He has held the position of Chairman, Neurogastroenterology and Motility Section of the British Society of Gastroenterology, Executive committee member of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and member of the United European Gastroenterology Federation Education Committee. He has been the co-lead for World Health Organisations ICD-11 coding for visceral pain and past Chair of the Abdominal and Pelvic Pain Special Interest Group of the International Society for the Study of Pain. He has been a member of Rome III, Rome IV and now Rome V Committees for development of diagnostic criteria for Disorders of Brain Gut Interaction. He has until recently been the gastroenterology speciality lead for North Thames Clinical Research Network and is the current president of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility.

From https://www.qmul.ac.uk/blizard/all-staff/profiles/qasim-aziz.html

Dr Marte Viken

Department of Medical Genetics, Oslo University Hospital, Norway
European ME Research Group

See https://www.ous-research.no/home/lie/Group+members/6638

Dr Tamas Korcsmaros

Department of Medical Genetics, Oslo University Hospital, Norway
European ME Research Group

Tamás Korcsmáros started his research work as a high-school student in a biochemistry laboratory and for five years he worked on the experimental analysis of redox adaptation. He graduated as a molecular biologist (Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary) and as a PhD student developed a gap-filling signalling network database, SignaLink. In Budapest, he established the NetBiol - Network Biology group, which focuses on signalling and regulatory networks. The group has been developing novel databases and web-services to meet key scientific community needs.

In March 2014, Tamás moved to Norwich and works as a Computational Biology Fellow at the Earlham Institute and Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB). His multi-disciplinary group focussed on combining computational and experimental approaches to predict, analyse and validate host-microbe interactions in the gut, especially in relation to the regulation of autophagy by microbes and upon disease conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and cancer. Tamás also took major part in the organisation of eight international conferences (each with more than 1000 participants), he is the co-founder of two network analysis companies and coordinated 3 innovation grant programs. Since 2001, Tamás has been participating as a volunteer in Hungarian and international talent support organizations. He is currently the Chairman of the Research Student Foundation supporting 5000 high-school research students.

Tamas is now Senior Lecturer in Intestinal Epithelial Biology at Imperial College London.

See https://www.ous-research.no/home/lie/Group+members/6638

Dr David Andersson

Reader In Physiology, Kings College London, UK

David Andersson has been at the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases in London since 2011.
Research in David Andersson’s laboratory is centred on sensory transduction mechanisms

His research is focused on how sensory neurons control pain and nociception. He is particularly interested in two areas that we are convinced will improve understanding of acute and chronic pain:

1) His team is unravelling the mechanisms responsible for chronic pain in fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), and pain caused by the chemotherapeutic drug oxaliplatin.

2) They are exploring interactions between TRP ion channels and neuronal G-protein coupled receptors and we have demonstrated that these interactions can exert powerful influence over the activity of sensory neurons, thereby controlling pain.

In 2009, he was awarded the first KCL/London Law Trust Medal and fellowship (now the Professor Anthony Mellows Medal).

Key publications:

Andersson et al., 2011. TRPA1 mediates spinal antinociception induced by acetaminophen and the cannabinoid Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabiorcol. Nature Communications. Peier et al., 2002. A heat-sensitive TRP channel expressed in keratinocytes. Science. Zygmunt et al., 1999. Vanilloid receptors on sensory nerves mediate the vasodilator action of anandamide. Nature.

Key collaborators:

Professor Stuart Bevan, King's College London

Dr Andreas Goebel, University of Liverpool

Professor Camilla Svensson, Karolinska Institute

Dr Emanuele Sher, Eli Lilly

More information:

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/david-andersson

https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/david-andersson(b6db63e4-239e-45eb-a5e0-a01acb377808).html

Presenter to be announced

Details will be announced shortly.

Presenter to be confirmed

Details will be announced shortly.

Dr Robert Phair

Chief Scientific Officer, Integrative Bioinformatics, Inc., USA

Dr. Robert Phair, a systems biologist whose Ph.D. is in Physiology, is an internationally known expert in the area of kinetic modeling, with over 35 years of experience in the modeling of complex biological systems. He started his academic life with a degree in Electrical Engineering at MIT with the intention to apply engineering analysis to complex biological systems. He was a professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for 16 years before co-founding Integrative Bioinformatics, Inc (IBI), a scientific consultancy in Silicon Valley, with a focus on cellular and molecular systems,where a systematic approach has been developed to model biological systems that allows effective testing of complex hypotheses against available experimental data.

Dr Robert Phair

Professor of Neuroscience, Institute of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Brain Sciences, UCL, UK

Professor Jeffery's lab works on ageing and age related retinal disease in humans and animal models and asseses how the impact of these can be avoided using a range of cellular, molecular and optical techniques.
They examine and manipulate mechanisms of inflammation, mitochondrial decline, cell death and extra-cellular deposition including that of amyloid beta, and map these retinal changes onto shifts in visual performance, linking structure with function in normal ageing and disease. The lab has basic scientists, clinical ophthalmologists and optometrists and translates studies on cellular mechanisms in model systems into clinical trials for inflammatory diseases and macular degeneration at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Dr Marte Viken

Department of Medical Genetics, Oslo University Hospital, Norway
European ME Research Group

See https://www.ous-research.no/home/lie/Group+members/6638

Medical specialist in Immunology,
Head of Gastrointestinal Immunology research group
Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy,
Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Associate Professor Eva Untersmayr-Elsenhuber, MD, PhD

Austria

Dr. Eva Untersmayr-Elsenhuber Associate Professor of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research at The University of Vienna. Her research interests are Immunology and Microbiology, Comparative Immunology and Oncology, Pathophysiology.
In 2011, Dr.in Eva Untersmayr-Elsenhuber completed her specialist training. Since then, Dr.in Untersmayr-Elsenhuber has worked as a specialist and associate professor at the ” Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research at the Medical University of Vienna. In 2012, Dr.in Eva Untersmayr-Elsenhuber completed her part-time doctoral studies in natural sciences at the University of Salzburg and received her doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.). She is the author of more than 40 internationally acclaimed articles published in renowned journals, which have so far been cited more than 1000 times by other authors in publications. For her work in the field of food allergy, Dr.in Untersmayr-Elsenhuber has received numerous prizes such as the Pirquet Prize, the most important prize in the field of allergy research of the Austrian Society for Allergology and Immunology, the Theodor Billroth Prize of the Medical Association of Vienna and the Vienna Chamber of Commerce Prize 2014.
In addition, Dr Eva Untersmayr-Elsenhuber has led and managed numerous competitively funded research projects on food allergy, gastrointestinal immunology and oncology since 2005. She is a member of national and international committees such as the Austrian and European Societies for Allergolgy and Immunology and the Collegium Internationale Allergologicum. Dr. Untersmayr-Elsenhuber has participated in numerous science communication activities for years, such as the production of information brochures, the Children’s University, the Long Night of Research and Science at the VHS Vienna.
Dr. Untersmayr-Elsenhuber is a member of the European ME Research Group (EMERG).
(with grateful thanks to https://www.praxis-neustift.com/en/prof-ddr-eva-untersmayr-elsenhuber/)

Links:

Researchgate

Dr Jon Brooks is Associate Professor of MRI Physics and the Head of MRI at the University of East Anglia Wellcome-Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre (UWWBIC) in Norwich Research Park, UK.

Jon Brooks

UK

Dr Jon Brooks is Associate Professor of MRI Physics and the Head of MRI at the University of East Anglia Wellcome-Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre (UWWBIC) in Norwich Research Park, UK.

His main role is Head of MRI in supporting researchers/students from across the University to make use of the MRI scanner at the UEA Wellcome Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre.
The scanner is a whole-body imaging system capable of imaging any part of the body. However the main focus within School is in the field of Neuroscience. Dr Brooks' main research focus is on the study of pain, both as perceived by healthy controls and in patients suffering from chronic pain conditions. In particular, he focuses on studying how the brain, brainstem and spinal cord work in conjunction to control the flow of pain-related information to and from the brain. A recent article by former PhD student Valeria Oliva (now at the Italian National Institute of Health), demonstrating how we leveraged advanced neuroimaging techniques to simultaneously study the entire central nervous system's involvement in attentional control of pain, can be found here.

His biographical details are available on the UEA web site at this link.

Other Links:

https://uwwbic.uea.ac.uk/home

Universidad Católica de Valencia “San Vicente Mártir”, Spain

Elisa Oltra

Spain

Dr. Elisa Oltra is a professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at the Universidad Católica de Valencia “San Vicente Mártir” where she also works as a researcher in the area of stem-cell and cancer.
She obtained an M.S. degree in Biochemistry at the Universitat de Valencia (Spain) and later earned her PhD in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Miami, FL (USA) where she stayed for her post-doctoral training and later, as Senior Scientist till 2006 when she moved back to Spain. During her studies at the University of Miami she identified alternative 5´UTR sequences involved in regulating cell-cell communication through mechanisms of differential connexin43 expression in the heart.
She also isolated a novel essential protein (Ini) and demonstrated its participation in mechanisms of transcription and splicing.
In 2009 she started a project to investigate the molecular basis of Fibromyalgia having identified at present irregularities in RNAseL expression and miRNAs profile changes in the participating patients which could lead to a deeper understanding of the disease.
In 2012 she joined the IVP Valencian Institute of Pathology, also at the Universidad Católica de Valencia where she is currently studying a specific type of vesicles: the exosomes, as mediators of stem-cell based therapies.
She is also academic director of the first officially accredited Master degree in Biobanking in Europe in collaboration with the Spanish Network of Biobanking at the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid (Spain).


Registration

The annual Invest in ME Research International Biomedical Research Colloquium is an invitation-only symposium established for biomedical researchers to exchange data and ideas in confidence in the quest to unravel the complexities of ME.

Our goal is to foster global collaboration and drive the discovery of the aetiology of ME and facilitate development of effective treatments. Participation is by invitation from the charity, assisted by our esteemed advisors in the European ME Research Group (EMERG).

Biomedical researchers interested in contributing to the BRMEC* Colloquiums are encouraged to use our registration request form or contact us for further information.

We also extend our invitation to experts outside the ME field who may bring valuable insights to assist our dedicated researchers in this important journey


Venue

The conference will take place on the Wellcome Genome Campus at Hinxton Hall, near Cambridgeshire. Hinxton Hall

Hinxton Hall Conference Centre is located on the Wellcome Genome Campus, alongside research institutions that are at the forefront of the genomics revolution. Hinxton Hall Conference Centre blends stunning contemporary architecture with state-of-the-art facilities, alongside a Grade II* listed country house, all set within a beautiful, rural 100 acre estate bordering the River Cam.

This location is near to Cambridge as well as a short drive from London Stansted airport.
There is also a direct link to London Stansted from central London.
This venue offers a number of advantages for assisting in our objectives of building collaboration and expanding knowledge.

Abstract Submission / Poster Presentations

If there are researchers who are interested in submitting an abstract of their research for consideration then please contact us using the link below.
Please bear in mind that any submissions must fit with the objectives and theme of the Colloquium (please read Overview).

Similarly, poster presentation submissions are also possible.


Sponsorship

There are opportunities for sponsoring elements of the International ME Conference Week 2024, including at the IIMEC16 conference. Please read our Conference Week brochure for details of the events. Contact us if interested in becoming a sponsor of the conference and supporter of the work of Invest in ME Research


Past Colloquiums

The Colloquium events have been arranged annually since 2011.
Past Colloquiums can be viewed via the link below


Conference News

Conference week-related news is able to seen on our conference news page


COVID Policy

This year one of the reasons that we have again chosen this venue for our conference events was to allow more space within the conference venue.





Last Update February 2024