Dr Erinna Bowman, Dr Luis Nacul and Dr Eliana Lacerda from the biobank team

Dr Erinna Bowman, Dr Luis Nacul and Dr Eliana Lacerda from the biobank team

The team overseeing the UK ME/CFS Biobank at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have announced that Dr. Christopher Beisel from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA is to hold a seminar in London on Monday, September 8th 2014 on the role of the NIH in funding ME/CFS research. The evening (from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, with doors opening at 6:00 pm) is aimed at ME/CFS patients, their carers and loved ones, and other interested parties, and will be informal to allow an open, casual, and productive dialogue.

The location is the Manson Lecture Theatre at LSHTM, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, and the lecture hall is near the main entrance of the Keppel Street LSHTM building, which is in central London, close to the British Museum.  Step-free access is available and the venue is fully wheelchair accessible. If you plan to attend it would be very helpful for planning purposes if you could please send an email to mecfsbiobank@LSHTM.ac.uk with the subject line “NIH outreach session” stating how many will be in your party and whether step-free or wheelchair access will be required.

Dr. Beisel will give a brief presentation and will then open up the floor to questions. This will be an opportunity to hear about:
the NIH’s structure, funding, and relationship with the US federal government;
the ME/CFS research project the NIH is currently funding at LSHTM;
the portfolio of ME/CFS studies the U.S. government is currently funding;
how the NIH determines who will receive funds;
and specific requirements for foreign grantees.

Dr. Beisel is a Team Leader for Grant Policy and Activities and Program Officer at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at NIH.  However, he is neither a medical doctor nor an ME/CFS specialist, and unfortunately is not in a position to answer questions related to symptoms individuals may be experiencing, or provide feedback on etiological hypotheses.

Staff members of the CURE-ME ME/CFS research team will also be on hand to answer questions about their NIH-funded research and development of the UK ME/CFS Biobank. Their pioneering Biobank was initiated with funding from a consortium of charities – ME Research UK, the ME Association and Action for ME – and was awarded over £1 million of funding by the NIH in 2013. The grant enables research on the immunology and genetics of ME/CFS, and helps expand the Biobank to store samples from over 500 participants, which will be made available to medical researchers internationally.

Further reading

Establishment of the UK ME/CFS Biobank: an international resource
ME/CFS Biobank given £1 million