Journal of IiME Volume 4 Issue 1 www.investinme.org The 5th Invest in ME International ME/CFS Conference 2010 Research, Research, Research By Dr. Ian Gibson Dr. Ian Gibson Dr. Ian Gibson was MP for Norwich North thirteen years. He acquired a passion for all things scientific- especially biology – and pursued his passion for science by studying at Edinburgh University where he gained a BSC and later on a PhD in genetics. He served as the Dean of the School of Biological Sciences at UEA from 1991 to 1997 and headed a research team investigating various forms of cancer, including leukaemia, breast and prostate cancer. In 2003, the university made Dr. Gibson an Honorary Professor. I spoke to a friend who works as a GP in a major Norwich surgery the other day. We talked about matters medical and political. I raised with him the subject of ME. Whilst being sceptical of many of the claims by different groups he did acknowledge that more needed to be done in resolving causes, treatments and definitions. He was keen on a more comprehensive study for symptoms which of course could be related to causes. His suspicion, as with many others, is that ME is really a series of illnesses some of which may have similar causes or symptoms. He supported research in that area to allow for the focussing of treatments. A local medic responsible for providing the local treatment service has been working tirelessly to find an appropriate physician to run a service. What they both acknowledge is that the subject raises deep hostility, anger, suspicion and frankly libellous claims on the issue of people’s sincerity to tackle the problems. Following two inquiries in the last parliament it is time to move on and develop a research network. A statement from the last inquiry on NHS service provision for ME/CFS said – “To date research in the field of ME/CFS has produced little substantive progress but there are a number of encouraging findings e.g. the XMRV research which need to be pursued. As noted in the Gibson report there has been far too Invest in ME (Charity Nr. 1114035) Dr. Gibson’s work in Parliament and in Norwich has primarily consisted of advocacy work and pushing the government to take more notice of the role that science plays (and can play) in the UK. His scientific background has meant that he has been involved in numbers of groups and charities in Parliament. He was a member of the Select Committee on Innovation Universities Science and Skills and was a member of the science and technology select committee from his election in 1997 and served as its chairman between 2001-5. He was chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer. Whilst he was the dean of biology at the University of East Anglia he was the head of a research team investigating cancer, and has been awarded a 'Champion' award by Macmillan Cancer Relief for his work in support of people with cancer. He was a major campaigner against top-up fees for universities. He headed the Inquiry into ME in 2006 – an independent inquiry which made recommendations regarding ME – such as funding for biomedical research. See http://tinyurl.com/2eqw55 Page 11/56

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