May 12th is ME Awareness Day 2016, and it’s also the formal opening of the UK ME/CFS Biobank at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The biobank is now open for applications from researchers across the world who want to access samples. To mark this milestone, the team will be hosting a celebratory research review meeting and drinks reception this evening, attended by patients, doctors & scientists.

The establishment phase of the biobank was funded by a consortium of ME/CFS charities – Action for ME, The ME Association, and ME Research UK itself  – plus the generous help of a private donor.  The biobank team then won a £1 million research grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which helped it expand – and currently it holds 28,000 samples from over 500 patients.  We look forward to seeing this valuable resource used by research groups worldwide!

May 12th was Florence Nightingale’s birthday (in 1820), and has been designated as International ME Awareness Day for the past 20 years. ME shares the day with a number of other chronic conditions like fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivity.