Fruitful and encouraging – that how we’d sum up the CFS/ME Research Collaborative (CMRC) conference that ended yesterday in Newcastle. Everyone agreed that the highlights were the keynote addresses by Prof José Montoya (Stanford University) who described his long involvement in the field and the current ME/CFS Collaboration program underway at Stanford, and by Dr Øystein Fluge (Haukeland University Hospital) on his Norwegian studies on rituximab in the overall context of this illness.

Prof José Montoya began his talk by stating his “wish and dream that medical and research societies in the USA apologise to ME/CFS patients” for their attitudes in the past. The evidence over last 33 years, he continued, is that ME/CFS is often triggered by infection leading to a neuro-inflammatory process. Fortunately, there is now “a precious opportunity to crack the most exciting scientific mystery” – we need to dream together and use all expertise to “turn a big corner and realise our dream”. His lecture can be heard at this link http://bit.ly/1LvGi87 (begins 16 minutes in).

ME Research UK fundees Newcastle 2015 - 800 px

We were fortunate to have some of our ME Research UK-funded researchers in attendance, and the photo above shows (L–R) seven representatives during a break: Prof Jo Nijs (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium); Dr Faisal Khan (University of Dundee); Dr Clive Carter (Leeds NHS Trust); Prof Lionel Lubitz (Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia); Dr Erinna Bowman (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine); Victoria Strassheim (Newcastle University); and Prof Julia Newton (Newcastle University).

Special thanks go to the sponsors of this year’s conference – the MRC, Wellcome Trust and Arthritis Research UK.