UK M.E. Biobank wins award in Biobank of the year competition | 30 November 2018

November 30, 2018


This award is fantastic news and a great tribute to all members of the M.E. Biobank team who are involved in the collection, processing and release of blood samples to researchers who are now using them to research the underlying causes of M.E. both here in the UK and abroad.

Dr Eliana Lacerda, Dio Giotas and Shennae O’Boyle from the M.E. Biobank at the awards ceremony.

The ME Association Ramsay Research fund now funds all the basic running costs of the M.E. Biobank – which amount to around £80,000 each year.

Now fully operational, the M.E. Biobank, which is based at the Royal Free Hospital in London, has blood samples in storage from around 500 people – the majority of whom have ME/CFS, including a sub-group with severe M.E.

The M.E. Biobank also has blood samples from healthy controls and from people with multiple sclerosis – a neurological disease with a number of overlapping features to M.E.

Among the research projects currently being worked on at the Biobank is a major study into the role of infection and immune system dysfunction in M.E. Funding comes from the American National Institutes of Health and represents the largest ever grant for M.E. research in the UK.

The M.E. Biobank is also supplying samples for research that has been funded by the ME Association Ramsay Research Fund.

This includes mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolomics – from Dr Karl Morten and colleagues (University of Oxford) – and a new study – from Professor Jo Cambridge (University College London) and the M.E. Biobank team – examining links between immune system dysfunction and defective energy production at the cellular level.

Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association and Chair of the M.E. Biobank Steering Committee.

UKMEB wins Biobanking Award

The CureME team at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is thrilled to have received an Honourable Mention for Biobank of the Year 2018, presented on Tuesday 27th November at the UK Biobanking Showcase in London.

Dr Lacerda receiving the award on behalf of the M.E. Biobank.

The Showcase is run each year by the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre, and comprised of a day of seminars and workshops to facilitate networking and infrastructure strengthening of UK bioresources.

The day concluded with the award ceremony for Biobank of the Year.

The UK ME/CFS Biobank (UKMEB) entered two case studies to demonstrate how the resource had been established with comprehensive patient engagement and involvement, and how it has led to high-quality research both nationally and internationally thanks to collaboration with external researchers.

Since its opening, the Biobank has enabled virology, immunology, metabolomics and transcriptomics at the LSHTM, University College London and the University of Oxford, as well as at collaborator sites in Europe, America and the Middle East.

The UKMEB was one of only two award-winners from among a strong field, with the committee praising its “significant research value and excellent patient engagement with the community.”

We would like to thank the UKCRC and, sponsor of the awards, as well as the US National Institutes of Health and the ME Association for their continuing support of the UKMEB. Funding for the Biobank’s establishment was provided by the ME Association, as well as Action for MEME Research UK, and an anonymous donor.

However, our greatest debt of gratitude is owed to all of the people with ME who have given their time and energy to contribute to the Biobank and have supported us so much over the last seven years – thank you.

ME Association Ramsay Research Fund Christmas Appeal

Help us do more for M.E. research in 2019

If you would like to support our Christmas Appeal, then please:

  • Donate online via our JustGiving page or to start fundraising,
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If you have any questions about the Appeal, then please contact our fundraising manager, Helen Hyland. Thank you.

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