Registration and speakers for this year’s Invest in ME international conference – 20 May 2011.

January 24, 2011

Registration opened this week for the 6th international Invest in ME conference at One Birdcage Walk, home of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, in central London, on Friday, 20 May 2011. The theme this year is The Way Forward for ME – A Case for Clinical Trials.

To view the registration details, please click HERE.

Speakers this year will include:

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 people 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 Oystein 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.

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