Chairman's Welcome Message

IiMER International Conferences

Sustaining and Developing the Foundations of Research into ME

c15 conference


In early 2020 we were preparing for the 2020 International ME Conference Week events - presenting "A 2020 Vision for ME".
Unfortunately, the 2020 vision for ME did not foresee the worldwide effects of a pandemic that would affect so many lives.
The ME Conference Week events for 2020, 2021 and 2022 were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and so much of what was planned for these years was constrained or was forced to be postponed.

There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed research priorities - especially in the short to medium term - and funding decisions, resources and information have been altered, all of which has affected ME in some way.
However, we have attempted to continue our strategy and adapt as necessary to the varying Covid-19 situation. In 2021 and 2022 we held our annual international research colloquiums online, events that still created useful discussions amongst researchers, and introduced the European ME Research Group (EMERG) as partners in arranging the programme.
In 2023 we return to in person meetings.

Invest in ME Research (IIMER) is an independent UK charity facilitating and funding a strategy of high-quality biomedical research into Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and promoting better education about ME. The charity is run by volunteers - patients or parents of children with ME - no salaries, no government funding, not controlled by outside influences - but with wonderful supporters.

Since 2006 we have arranged fourteen international ME conferences and eleven international biomedical research Colloquiums.
These have been supplemented with a Young/Early Career conference to encourage new researchers into the field and plans to initiate a new event for clinicians.
Now, after seventeen years it may be so that the charity was only recognised for these events – with little awareness of what else the charity and supporters are doing, But as the saying goes - " ....... a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze."

After seventeen years of constant work the acorns have been accumulating - building blocks for change.

Although the International ME Conference Week events are important and have developed as an essential part of the research environment perhaps we should mention a few of the things the charity and its supporters are achieving and in order to maintain this progress.

What are we doing

Our strategy has been to concentrate, as best as we can, on setting up some of the key building blocks that would create sustainable and permanent change in how ME is researched and treated.

IiMER is finding, funding and facilitating biomedical research into ME in a variety of ways and is focused on -

  • creating solid foundations for a research programme on ME
  • solving scientific questions relating to ME
  • finding treatments that are based on research evidence
  • raising standards on all levels of patient care
  • facilitating European and international collaboration
  • changing attitudes toward ME from within institutes and organisations via funded researchers and medical students

From 2023 the charity is funding its first post-doctoral fellowship for ME.
Based at the centre in Norwich Research Park at Quadram Institute this new role will allow more research to be carried out and planned as part of the ongoing strategy of translational biomedical research which will increase collaboration, help build capacity and encourage young researchers to enter this field of research.

Invest in ME Research Postdoctoral Fellowship

Together with Quadram Institute, the first Fellowship for ME has been established - the Invest in ME Research Fellowship.

This was announced recently via this Press Release .
As Professor Carding of Quadram says "This is an important step in building continuity to the ME research we are doing and will provide valuable scientific support for the upcoming RESTORE-ME clinical trial".
The value of a UK/European centre of excellence for ME is clear and it is notable that this has been developed by patients and carers and a forward looking research institute and university.

What is also important when considering making progress is that one does not have to reinvent what has already been set up to develop capacity and expertise.
Likewise, there is little point in funding odd, disparate projects that are not connected to a strategy of research.

Instead the existing research base and the new ideas and research being generated to support a strategy of research should be supported with additional funds. This is how we see that the urgency that is required for research into ME can be addressed.
The wide expertise in the research park is being utilised by the research team bringing in new expertise and knowledge, as well as raising more and more awareness of ME.
Quadram and fellow EMERG researchers have been involved in workshops with NIH.
Quadram has developed a Best Practice in Microbiome Research.

Read More

A new and visionary scheme to address the issue of expertise amongst GPs was initiated in collaboraion with the Quadram Institute and Norfolk and Waveny CCG.
This scheme aimed to educate GPs and create champions in clinical care for people with ME – that would continue as a regular feature of the Centre of Excellence.
Unfortunately, after interviews were performed and no candidates were selected then the CCG changed priorities.
We hope we can return to this initiative at some point.

Read More

TWELVE Colloquiums, FIFTEEN Conferences

We released the videos from all of our the past international ME conferences (click here).
It is quite interesting to listen to the comments made in the past seventeen years by some presenters and compare to the situation we have today - with research and education about ME.
One could be forgiven for thinking that nothing has changed.

Yet the charity has been attempting to move things forward over the years, as we see from the themes of the last fourteen conferences -

and now Research into ME - Post-pandemic (IIMEC15)

In 2023 IiMER will again be organising the international biomedical research into ME Colloquium bringing researchers from around the world. We will organise another international ME conference open to the public - our fifteenth international ME conference that regularly brings together people from twenty different countries from around the world.
We will restart the European young researchers group to build a network of young and early career researchers.

Philanthropy is about 'giving' - not just in terms of fundng but also in non-monetary aspects, such as time, ideas, raising awareness of what the charity is trying to do, or being a volunteer.
We are justifiably proud of what our supporters have achieved and they deserve recognition for all their support and efforts to bring change to the landscape of ME research and awareness.

Looking at what has been achieved and exists in Norwich Research Park we believe that 2023 sees good foundations for progress existing, with only adequate funding missing from the equation.

Kathleen McCall

Chairman Invest in ME Research

International ME Conferences and Colloquiums Since 2006

Our Past Conference Events

This web site has details of all of the previous Invest in ME Research International ME Conferences that the charity has arranged and hosted since 2006. The presenters at the conferences represent the world's most current knowledgebase regarding ME/CFS. The conferences provide the latest research and clinical information about ME and allows for the creation or resumption of unique networking opportunities with some of the most knowledgeable and experienced authorities on ME in the world.

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Videos from past conferences

We have videos from all presentations in all conferences available. These are not just educational but contain a historical record of research progress over the years. The education of healthcare staff must reflect the latest knowledge about the pathogenesis of ME which high quality biomedical research is providing. The presenters at the CPD-accredited Invest in ME Research International ME Conferences have represented the world's most current knowledgebase regarding this disease - providing the latest research and clinical information about ME and a unique location for networking with some of the most knowledgeable and experienced authorities on ME in the world. These videos provide useful information for researchers, clinicians and patients as well as providing a historical record of research into ME.

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Our Past Colloquiums

The Invest in ME Research Biomedical Research into ME (BRMEC) Colloquiums are closed research meetings organised by the charity to encourage biomedical research into ME and international collaboration amongst researchers. This has been one of the main objectives of the charity. Invest in ME Research began arranging public biomedical research conferences in 2006 and have continued them ever since - mostly funded by the charity but with help from some wonderful supporters and some good friends. The Invest in ME Research International Biomedical Research into ME Colloquiums began in 2011 as a way of bringing together researchers from around the world in a round-table discussion of ME research and ideas. Over the years this has broadened into sharing of experiences, data and plans for future research and international collaboration. A culmination of much of this effort was the initiation of The European ME Research Group (EMERG) concept which formed in October 2015 in London in an attempt to set up a strategy of European collaboration in ME research.

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Young Researchers

The Thinking the Future conferences were research meetings organised by the charity to encourage biomedical research into ME and international collaboration amongst young and early career researchers.
Read more This has been a major objective of the charity. An international family of researchers working together has been facilitated by the Invest in ME Research BRMEC* Biomedical Research into ME Colloquiums held annually in London, UK. To ensure that a foundation of biomedical research into ME can be sustained and to encourage new ideas from new areas then we cannot rely just on this family of researchers that has been built up from all parts of the world. We need to draw in knowledge and expertise from other areas – as we have been doing for many years with our research Colloquiums and international Conferences. Importantly, we also need to encourage early career researchers – and young researchers.
Following the pandemic, in 2023 the charity restarted the young/ecr European network - Young EMERG.

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Young EMERG is now an entity that can help attract more young researchers into research into ME and assist in building capacity in the field. YE will also foster European and international collaboration and create new idea and awareness - all objectives of IiMER.

Our Conference Journals

Our Conference Journals
For each conference we produce an edition of the Journal of IiMER.
Containing news, articles and conference presentation abstracts.

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Last Update January 2023

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