Mainstreaming Research into ME since 2006

Following the 2007 conference more effort was concentrated on research and attempts to encourage researchers from outside the field of ME to participate. Once we began organising the Colloquiums then it was apparent that capacity in the research community that was being directed to research into ME was so limited that more had to be done.
The research funding agencies and governments had been so lamentable in their efforts to increase research capacity in the field that it was inherent on a small charity to initiate this via the opportunities presented by the Colloquiums.

As the family of international researchers joining our conference weeks in London increased so did the possibilities for attracting new interest, and speakers, to the proceedings. The researchers themselves began to bring other researchers along, or propose their attendance.
Since the pandemic the European ME Research Group (EMERG) has played an active role and has assisted in bringing in new expertise - thus raising more awareness and interest in research.
For this year’s international ME conference week events we welcome several researchers who are attending the IiMER events for the first time.

Some of Our First-Timers

At the centre in Norwich the microbiome has been the focus of research that is being funded by Invest in ME Research - including the only clinical trial for ME in UK.
Therefore, of great significance were recent announcements that made headlines concerning the NIH funded research on the microbiome where two studies found that microbiome changes may be a signature for ME/CFS - see here
The microbiome has emerged as a potential contributor to ME/CFS. These findings provide unique insights into the role the microbiome plays in the disease and suggest that certain differences in gut microbes could serve as biomarkers for ME/CFS,” said Vicky Whittemore, Ph.D., program director at NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

We are pleased to welcome to our BRMEC12 colloquium the senior authors of these papers. Associate Professor Dr Julia Oh from the Jackson Laboratory in Farmington, Connecticut and Assistant Professor Dr Brent Williams from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.

We also welcome Dr Thomas Vogl from the Medical University of Vienna.
His multi disciplinary team's main focus lies on the investigation of antibody responses against the microbiome. His paper 'Systemic antibody responses against human microbiota flagellins are overrepresented in chronic fatigue syndrome patients' was published in 2022
Thomas recently visited Quadram Institute and will also be joining the European ME Research Group meeting prior to the conference.

Professor Qasim Aziz is a renowned neurogastroenterologist who specialises in diseases of the gut that affect its nervous system, muscles and connective tissue. He brings his great experience to the colloquium and presents on gut complications in autonomic dysfunction associated with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome.

We are pleased to welcome Professor James Stewart from the University of Liverpool - internationally renowned in the field of virus-host interactions . A large part of his career has been spent studying pathogenesis and virus-host interactions, with a particular focus on the herpes virus family. Professor Stewart's input to the colloquium session on Host-virus interaction will be welcome.

We also welcome Professor Hatice Tankisi , a neurologist from Aarhus University in Denmark. Professor Tankisi is one of the few Danish scientists convinced that long COVID may express as ME. Her neurological methods are novel and clever and she has in the past done research also within Guillain-Barré syndrome and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, which may be relevant for the ME community.
She is currently planning clinical trials to treat the myopathies that she has documented.

Dr Lutz Schomburg from the Department of Endocrinology at Charité Hospital, Berlin is an expert on thyroid & selenium metabolism. particularly for the therapeutic potential that may offer to a subgroup of ME patients. According to his research there is a considerable subset of ME patients with autoimmunity compromised Se transport, possibly coming from chronic low Se levels. Looking at potential relationships between patient gut strains and gut virome with metabolism of Se could shed some light to future therapetutic options, perhaps also for post-COVID condition patients,
Lutz has also joined the EMERG group and will participate in the forthcoming EMERG meeting in UK in May.
Professor Alain Moreau is a Full Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry (Stomatology Department), cross-appointed to the Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine Department in the Faculty of Medicine at Université de Montréal. His research interests include molecular and cellular aspects of melatonin signalling in idiopathic scoliosis and normal musculoskeletal tissue ; role of transcription and signal transduction mechanisms in normal and pathological bone development (cancers of bones and cartilage, osteoarthritis) as well as in regeneration of calcified tissue. He is also Director of the Interdisciplinary Canadian Collaborative Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ICanCME) Research Network.
Dr Bhupesh Prusty has spoken at IiMER's virtual Colloquium #BRMEC10 in 2021. But this will be Bhupesh's first in person participation and he has promised to announce a biomarker for #MECFS and #LongCovid in time for the conference.

Physician Dr David Systrom is Assistant Professor of Medicine. Institution. 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).

Assistant Professor Bradlee Heckmann from University of South Florida spoke at our virtual 2021 colloquium #BRMEC10, but this will be his first time speaking at an in person colloquium. His research has been focused on understanding the regulation of inflammatory and metabolic processes in the central nervous system, with particular emphasis on neurodegenerative diseases.

We also welcome Dr Kiran Thapaliya from NCNED in Australia recently published a paper Brainstem volume changes in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and long COVID patients. They used the world's strongest MRI scanner to investigate the impacts of Long COVID and ME on the brain and found the brainstem to be significantly larger in patients with ME & Long COVID than those not having these conditions, which could be the reason Long COVID patients exhibit all common core symptoms of ME/CFS. They also discovered smaller midbrain volumes were associated with more severe breathing difficulty in ME and Long COVID patients. The conclusion being that brainstem dysfunction in ME and Long COVID patients could contribute to their neurological, cardiorespiratory symptoms, and movement disorder.

We welcome Professor Glen Jeffery who is Professor of Neuroscience at University College London, Institute of Ophthalmology, to the colloquium.
His research interests are age-related macular degeneration; retinal structure; development and visual areas of the brain; comparative evolution of the brain.
Since last year the charity and QI have been in discussions on using the research performed by Professor Jeffery on red light therapy and the effects on mitochondria. Plans are being formulated and we hope to have more news of this soon.
Meanwhile, an ethics application is close to submission to undertake a feasibility study trialling this therapy for ME.

We have included a session on Network and Systems Biology Approaches.
AI is well suited to handling/interpreting massive and complex datasets such as those from ‘omics-based projects. We wanted to bring in AI to the colloquium mix as we believe, with or without the hype, this may prove to be very useful in a number of areas that could benefit research into ME.
We also felt it important to establish a session (again, as we did some years ago) for systems biology - something that seems to be missing in so many of the discussions.

Dr Tamas Korcsmaros is a systems biologist from Imperial College who used to work at Quadram Institute and developed a programme called iSNP with Professor Carding. This was used to stratify IBD patients into groups based on their genetic (SNP) profile to help identify which drug regimens would be effective in each group. Tamas will be speaking about possibilities of stratification of patients into subgroups based on genetic profiling.

We also welcome Professor Robert Phair who is a systems biologist. His Ph.D. was in Physiology and he started academic life with a degree in Electrical Engineering at MIT, with the intention to apply engineering analysis to complex biological systems.
A professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for 16 years Robert later co-founded Integrative Bioinformatics, Inc (IBI), a scientific consultancy based in Silicon Valley.
Seven years ago, through scientific friends, he met Professor Ron Davis, and they have been collaborators in ME research ever since.
Robert will present his theory based on the relatively recently completed itaconate pathway, which is part of the innate immune response to pathogens and to damage.
The basic idea of this theory is that there is inherent positive feedback in interferon-alpha signaling, and if the normal molecular off-switches fail, then even a simple rhinovirus or coronavirus infection or a re-activated Herpes virus can lead to a chronic hypometabolic state in affected cells. ME symptoms then arise depending on the cell types affected, and the severity of ME will depend on the number and criticality of affected cells.

Register for IIMEC15

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Some of the institutes, organisations and agencies that have speakers, representatives and participants attending the conference week 2023 events -

Quadram Institute
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
University of East Anglia
Kings College London
University of Oslo
University of Bergen
University of Helsinki
University of Uppsala
University of Würzburg
Nova Southeastern University, Miami
Université de Montréal
Charité University Hospital, Berlin
Universidad Católica de Valencia
Harvard Medical School
Aarhus Universitet
Georgetown University
University College London
European ME Research Group
Copenhagen University Hospital
Cornell University
University of South Florida
University of Vermont
The Jackson Laboratory
NCNED, Australia
University of Liverpool
The Free University in Amsterdam
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Medical University of Vienna
Imperial College London
Mayo Clinic
Linköping University
Simmaron Research
North-West University
Queen Mary University London
University of Utrecht
Stanford Genome Technology Center
Columbia University
Radboud University
University of Nottingham
University of Amsterdam
University of Birmingham
University of Otago
Johns Hopkins University

Dr Vicky Whittemore


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.

University of Oslo and EMERG

Professor Ola Didrik Saugstad


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


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


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


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.
Metabolism, Cell biology, Mitochondria, Biochemistry

Professor Tom Wileman


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


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


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


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

Associate Professor Brent Williams


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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Dr Kiran Thapaliya


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.
Read more

Professor Lubov Nathanson


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.

Read more

Professor Hatice Tankisi


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


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 ( 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.

Dr Thomas Vogl


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


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.


Dr Marte Viken

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


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.


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:

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


Last Update April 2023