Invest in ME – 6th Invest in ME International ME/CFS Conference 2011

6th Invest in ME

International ME/CFS Conference 2011

The Way Forward for ME – A Case for Clinical Trials

Welcome to the 6th Invest in ME International ME/CFS Conference 2011 in Westminster, London, UK, on 20th May 2011.

Today Invest in ME announce the speakers at the conference (see below).

The key to resolving, treating and curing ME/CFS lies in biomedical research. Healthcare staff need to be aware of the latest biomedical research into ME/CFS as well as the multiple symptoms exhibited by ME/CFS patients and of the possible treatments available.

The education of healthcare staff about ME/CFS now needs to break with the past and reflect the newfound knowledge about the pathogenesis of ME/CFS which high quality biomedical research is providing.

The conference will be oriented toward providing healthcare staff and others with knowledge of the latest research, clinical trials and the biomarkers which allow appropriate treatments to be prescribed.

The Invest in ME biomedical research conferences began in 2006 and was followed with a 2-day conference in 2007. Our 2008 conference focused on Sub Grouping and Treatments and showed indisputable proof from leading ME/CFS experts regarding the organic basis and pathology of this illness. Our 2009 conference was oriented toward the severely-affected patients with ME/CFS.

Our 2010 conference heralded a new era of ME/CFS research based on biomedical research which had energised and empowered patients after the discovery of the xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) in patients with ME/CFS by the Whittemore-Peterson Institute, the US National Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic of Ohio.

Now the way forward for ME is to bring new awareness of this disease to researchers and potential funders of biomedical research and instigate clinical trials to give healthcare providers the tools to help their patients.

Translational biomedical research – an iterative feedback of information between the basic and clinical research domains in order to accelerate knowledge translation from the lab to the bedside and back to the lab again – needs to be implemented to translate the findings in basic research more quickly and efficiently into medical practice. This will produce more meaningful health outcomes and facilitate the sharing of repositories and research-based facilities and laboratories. This is the model IiME are attempting to promote in the proposal for a UK Centre of Excellence based in Norwich [].

Research data and experiences of managing and treating ME/CFS will be presented as will findings from the latest biomedical research.

The time is right for a scientific approach to research and treatment associated with ME/CFS.

Conference Speakers

Invest in ME are pleased to announce the following speakers at the conference-

Dr. David Bell MD

Dr. David Bell graduated from Harvard College and gained an MD degree at Boston University. Post doctoral training in paediatrics was completed with subspecialty training in Paediatric Behavior and Developmental Disorders. In 1978 he began work at the University of Rochester and then began a private practice in the town of Lyndonville, New York. In 1985 nearly 220 persons became ill with an illness subsequently called chronic fatigue syndrome in the communities surrounding Lyndonville, New York. This illness cluster began a study of the illness which continues today. Dr. David Bell is the author or co-author of numerous scientific papers on CFS, and, in 2003 was named Chairman of the Advisory Committee for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome of the Department of Health and Human Services. Publications include A Disease of A Thousand Names, (1988) and The Doctor’s Guide to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, (1990). Dr. Bell is currently performing ME/CFS research into the XMRV retrovirus.

Mrs. Annette Whittemore

Founder and President of the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuroimmune Diseases, Reno, Nevada, USA.  The Institute is located on the medical campus of the University of Nevada. Its mission is to serve those with complex neuro-immune diseases such as ME/CFS, viral induced central nervous system dysfunction and fibromyalgia. Annette Whittemore graduated in Elementary and Special Education at the University of Nevada and taught children with neuro-cognitive deficits, such as those found in autism, ADD, and learning disabilities. As the president and director of the current operations at the Institute Annette supports the basic and clinical research program, and actively recruits physicians and other support personnel for the Institute.

Dr Judy Mikovits PhD

Judy Mikovits is Research Director at the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Diseases and has co-authored over 40 peer reviewed publications that address fundamental issues of viral pathogenesis, hematopoiesis and cytokine biology. Formally trained as a cell biologist, molecular biologist and virologist, Dr. Mikovits has studied the immune response to retroviruses and herpes viruses including HIV, SIV, HTLVI, HERV, HHV6 and HHV8 with a special emphasis on virus host cell interactions in cells of the hematopoietic system including hematopoietic stem cells (HSC).

Dr Mikovits is one of the authors of the ground-breaking study published in Science magazine in October 2009 which detected XMRV in CFS patients  (Detection of an infectious retrovirus, XMRV, in blood cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome) and is a member of the US Department of Health and Human Services Blood Working Group.

Professor Kenny De Meirleir MD, PhD

Professor De Meirleir is a world renowned researcher of ME/CFS. He is full professor of physiology, pathophysiology and medicine at the Virje Universitet Brussel and practices Internal Medicine at Himmunitas Foundation also in Brussels and has published several hundred peer reviewed articles and is co-author of the book ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: a biological approach’ and was co-editor of the Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and reviewer for more than 10 other medical journals.  Professor De Meirleir was one of four international experts on the panel that developed the Canadian Consensus Document for ME/CFS. He assesses/treats thousands of ME/CFS patients annually and is the most experienced researcher in Europe regarding ME/CFS. His research activities in ME/CFS date back to 1990. His other research activities in exercise physiology, metabolism and endocrinology have led to the Solvay Prize and the NATO research award.

Dr Jose Montoya MD

Associate Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine), Stanford University, California, USA and Director, Toxoplasmosis National Reference Laboratory at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, California, USA. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Tulane University. Dr Montoya then completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University. Currently, he is serving as an associate professor in Infectious Diseases at Stanford. He has worked on a wide variety of projects in this field including research focused on the efficacy of new smallpox vaccines. Additionally, he is the founder and co-director of the Immunocompromised Host Service and works at the Positive Care Clinic at Stanford. Dr. Montoya specializes in toxoplasmosis and infectious diseases particularly as it pertains to cardiac transplants and AIDS patients. Dr. Montoya is also the recipient of many Stanford teaching awards, including the Bloomfield, Ebaugh, Kaiser and Rytand awards.

Currently Stanford University is taking a very active role in the study of patients with unexplained chronic illnesses such as chronic Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple sclerosis.

Dr. John Chia MD

Dr Chia is an infectious disease specialist, Torrance, California, USA. He has published research (“Chronic fatigue syndrome associated with chronic enterovirus infection of the stomach”) on the role of enteroviruses in the aetiology of ME/CFS – an area which has been implicated as one of the causes by a number of studies. There are more than 70 different types of enteroviruses that can affect the central nervous system, heart and muscles, all of which is consistent with the symptoms of ME/CFS.  By analyzing samples of stomach tissue from 165 patients with CFS, Dr. Chia’s team discovered that 82% of these individuals had high levels of enteroviruses in their digestive systems. Dr Chia’s research may result in the development of antiviral drugs to treat the debilitating symptoms of ME/CFS.

Professor Olav Mella MD, PhD and/or Dr Øystein Fluge MD, PhD (tbc)

from the Institute of Medicine, Section of Oncology, University of Bergen, Norway and Department of Oncology and Medical Physics, Haukeland University Hospital,  Bergen, Norway.

Professor Mella and Dr Fluge have performed clinical trials to test the benefit of B-cell depletion therapy using Rituximab in ME/CFS patients.

We hope to have news of additional speakers shortly.

Also present at the conference will be representatives of the European ME Alliance (EMEA) [] as the EMEA AGM takes place after the conference.

CPD Accreditation from the Royal colleges has been applied for and we hope to obtain the maximum credits for the conference, as in previous years.

Discounted rate – Sponsor a Medic:  IiME are again offering a discounted rate for healthcare staff who attend in connection with a local ME Support Group. IiME welcome all professionals who are working with, or have an interest in, ME/CFS.

The Invest in ME conferences have attracted presenters and delegates from fifteen countries and our DVDs of the conferences have been distributed to over 20 countries including Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is a serious neurological illness (classified by the World Health Organisation under ICD-10-93.3) that causes severe problems for an estimated 250,000 people in the UK, of whom 25,000 are estimated to be children and young people.  It is five times more prevalent than HIV/AIDS in the UK and the leading cause of long term absence of children from school through sickness.

The conference will be a unique opportunity to be informed of the latest research and information from some of the leading experts on ME/CFS in the areas of diagnosis, management, treatment, epidemiology and research.

Conference Registration:
Full details of the conference can be found at this address – [].

Should you have any further questions relating to the conference please contact us at
We look forward to welcoming you to the conference,

Invest in ME

UK Registered Charity Nr. 1114035

Invest in ME, PO BOX 561, Eastleigh SO50 0GQ, Hampshire, UK

Support ME Awareness – Invest in ME

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