Pioneering Progress in the Pursuit of Answers for ME- What’s Next?

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As the year comes around to the planning of our International ME Conference Week it is often a time to reflect on what has been done and what needs to be done.

This approach was reflected in our past research Colloquiums where a new approach for structuring the presentations was initiated in order to focus more effort on determining the information that was relevant to making progress.
We were pleased to see that the recent NIH Roadmap of webinars during 2023-24 had adopted this same approach to use for structuring their webinars.

Since 2005, Invest in ME Research has maintained an unwavering commitment to driving significant strides in the field of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) research. As an independent UK charity facilitating and funding a strategy of high-quality biomedical research and promoting better education about ME, our journey has been marked by relentless dedication to using innovation to progress biomedical research.
How else could it be as 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?

In this period, we have organised sixteen influential annual conferences, hosted thirteen annual, progressive, international biomedical research colloquiums, (a sequence broken only by the pandemic), and facilitated four early career researcher workshops.
Notably, we have established the first Fellowship for ME, completed five PhDs, and are on the brink of initiating our second Fellowship.
The charity is also funding the only clinical trial for ME in the UK, and is looking to fund more research that is on the way, embodying the urgency that defines our approach in translating research into tangible outcomes, where all of our income is used to fund and facilitate biomedical research into ME.

Beyond borders, we have been involved in the recent NIH Roadmap Research Programme and fostered and galvanised collaboration through the creation of European groups for patients, researchers, clinicians, and young researchers, driving international initiatives that support and strengthen our shared mission.
Our journey has seen the foundations of the Centre of Excellence for ME firmly in place in Norwich Research Park, a beacon of hope for advancing research and developing treatments. The one missing element - adequate funding - would expedite and complete our efforts for the benefit of all patients.

In the last parliamentary debate on ME, we laid out a bold vision for research, proposing a substantial allocation to kick-start biomedical research and support the foundations that we have laid. We recently made a document to update all MPs on the opportunities that have been created.
It is this vision that defines a small charity and its dedicated supporters.
Likewise, we have made the case for investment in the centre in Norwich Research Park in the DHSC/UKCRC though, unfortunately, our ideas have neither been fully distributed nor discussed, resulting in no tangible progress being achieved in two years of meetings.

Our involvement in the recent far more productive NIH Roadmap Research Programme has guided our Colloquium planning, shaping 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.
And asking What's Next?'
The conference and colloquium are ideal timing as they directly follow from the anticipated NIH Roadmap report to be published just before our International Conference Week - so much to discuss and plan.

Our colloquiums and conferences provide an international platform for education and collaboration - uniting professionals, patients, researchers, doctors, nurses, the media, and ME - and bridging the clinical and research divide to focus on benefits for patients.
This unique week-long set of events encapsulates a workshop for young/early career researchers, a two-day research Colloquium, a public international conference, a meeting of the European ME Research group and associated meetings — a testament to our commitment to fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange. As we open the conference registration it is an invitation to join us in shaping the future of ME research and building upon the foundation laid for almost two decades.

The name of our charity truly becomes the main calling for all interested in resolving this disease. What better slogan to use at this point in time than the one that this small charity has uniquely been promoting for so long. Time to #InvestinMEresearch.

Welcome to our conference week.

Kathleen McCall

Chairman Invest in ME Research


Philanthropy is about 'giving' - not just in terms of funding - although we are eternally grateful to those supporting the charity and to partners The Hendrie Foundation for their consistent and generous support for the RESTORE_ME clinical trial; and to LunaNova for their funding of the LunaNova fellowship that begins this year. Also appreciated are 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 hope that 2024 will witness adequate funding forthcoming to support and augment the research at the centre and and justify the incredible support received from patients, carers and friends.

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

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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Comments about Invest in ME Research Conferences

Last Update January 2024