We Welcome Professor Derek Pheby as a New Patron of the ME Association | 01 April 2020


Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association.

We are very pleased to announce that Professor Derek Pheby has accepted our invitation to become a Patron of the ME Association.

Derek has had a long and distinguished career and has a key interest in M.E., in particular through his work in helping to set up the ME Biobank, research into the epidemiology of M.E., and his constant willingness to provide help and support to the charity sector.

Professor Derek Pheby.

His initial interest in M.E. was triggered because a family member was diagnosed with the illness.

Throughout his career, Derek has maintained close contact with the ME Association, and we hope this new appointment will continue to benefit both the charity and the patient community.

We are very grateful to all our patrons for supporting the work of the ME Association: HRH The Duke of Kent KG GCMG KCVO, Etain, Lady Hagart-Alexander, The Countess of Mar, John Rutter CBE, and, Professor Derek Pheby.

Professor Pheby has provided a summary of his biography that you might like to read:

  • I studied medicine at St. Thomas’s Hospital Medical School, in the University of London, and I am a graduate in science and medicine, with higher degrees in social policy and law.
  • More than forty years ago, I was a general practitioner in rural North Yorkshire, but my more recent career has largely been in medical research and research management, mostly in Bristol, at the University of Bristol. I am an epidemiologist, and a specialist in public health.
  • I was awarded a Haldane Award by the Royal Institute of Public Administration in 1983 for work on child protection.
  • From 2009 to 2014, I was a member of the General Medical Council’s Reference Community, which advised the GMC on policy and strategy issues.
  • From 1989-1994 I was Clinical Coordinator for the development of the Medical Data Index IT system, to support clinical work in the South-Western region.
  • I have initiated effective national and international collaborations in cancer care and research, and in ME/CFS, liaising effectively with agencies and institutions across Europe.
  • I was Director of the South-West Regional Cancer Registry in the early 1990s, and joint founder and first chairman of the UK Association of Cancer Registries.
  • I was UK representative on the Permanent Steering Committee of the European Network of Cancer Registries, and chairman of its data definitions group.
  • I was formerly Chair of the Project Assurance Team for all the projects undertaken by the NHS Centre for Coding and Classification, which led in turn to the development of SNOMED/Clinical Terms.
  • I was a member, successively, of the National Task Force on ME/CFS, the Chief Medical Officer’s Working Group on ME/CFS, and the MRC Expert Group on ME/CFS.
  • I have received around twenty research grants, culminating in a grant of £503,028 from the Big Lottery Fund in 2006 to set up a National Observatory for ME/CFS. This project ran for three years and was the launch pad both for the UK ME Biobank and for EUROMENE (the European ME/CFS Research Network).
  • I was the principal investigator and project coordinator, of the National ME Observatory. The purpose was to address inadequacies in the research evidence base, to establish a strategic approach to research in this area, and to develop an infrastructure to support future research. Funded by the Big Lottery Fund via their largest grant for medical research to date, the project involved collaboration between ME charities, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the University of Hull, and the University of East Anglia.
  • I was appointed Visiting Professor of Epidemiology at Buckinghamshire New University in 2009.
  • I was scientific coordinator of EUROMENE until 2014, when I had to relinquish this role because of cancer, but I remain chair of Working Group 3 – socio-economics (one of six working groups in the current EU-funded project), as well as representing the UK on the Management Committee.
  • In 2017, I was awarded the Silver Medal of the European Society for Person-Centred Healthcare.
  • I have authored around ninety peer-reviewed scientific publications, as well as numerous articles in the lay press), public presentations to audiences ranging from local self-help groups to national and international conferences, and numerous radio and television broadcasts.

The ME Association

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