Journal of IiMER Volume 10 Issue 1 As part of our strategy to initiate highquality biomedical research into ME that looked at causality of ME the charity was finally able to fund its first research project in 2013, the gut microbiota study at IFR/UEA involving a three year PhD studentship. This followed many years of effort and fundraising and was greatly assisted by the charity’s advisor Dr Ian Gibson. The charity and its supporters contributed to the appeal by the Australian Alison Hunter Memorial Foundation and Australian PHANU for a flow cytometer to be purchased to assist research there. The charity organised and held its 8th annual international research conference – with the sub-title of Mainstreaming ME Research – reflecting our view that ME was now entering the mainstream research activities being considered by research establishments. We also organised our third international research colloquium in order to encourage ME research. These events established a core working group of researchers and facilitated many new collaborations – which was the intention of the meetings. This also underlined the charity’s conviction that a strategy of biomedical research into ME is possible, is sensible and will be the only way to June 2016 find treatments/cures for ME. As part of the charity’s attempt to mainstream ME research into research agendas and discussions of major organisations we invited the chair of the Royal College of GPs to speak at our 8th International ME conference. Dr Gerada’s talk led to a lively discussion with some surprising statements. Following the colloquium/conference the charity announced the beginning of its rituximab clinical trial project. We also announced that our advisor on the project would be Emeritus Professor Jonathan Edwards of UCL. During 2013 the charity organised a video conference call with Dr Martin McShane - NHS Commissioning Board Authority, Director – in an attempt to influence DoH policy on ME. In the discussion were the parents of a severely affected young adult who had themselves been victimised by the social services due to complete ignorance about ME. We feel our strategy of biomedical research with collaboration between international biomedical researchers is bringing change and a real prospect of continued progress. As we stated in our newslett – our motives “are to make rapid progress in translational biomedical research into ME which will benefit ME patients and their families and provide hope that something is being done for them, that there truly is a promise of better times Invest in ME (Charity Nr. 1114035) www.investinme.org Page 16 of 77

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