ME Association grants additional £175k to UK ME/CFS Biobank

The ME Association has supported the ME/CFS Biobank at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine ever since it began in 2011 and has single-handedly been providing funding to keep it operational ever since. We believe it to be an essential project that provides biological samples and clinical data to scientists working on ME/CFS around the world.

We have granted additional funding of £175,000 to keep the Biobank running for another 2 years. This will bring our total investment to over £550,000. The goal has always been to support the Biobank until it can become independent. It will achieve this by selling ME/CFS (and MS) biological samples and data in such quantities that future income supports running costs. The appeal to other scientists working in the field is that it can be more cost-effective to purchase high-quality samples and data rather than (or as well as) having to recruit and take samples and data themselves.

“The CureME team at the UK ME/CFS Biobank (UKMEB) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is delighted that the ME Association (MEA) has agreed to extend their generous funding for another 2 years.

“The previous MEA funding support to the UKMEB has enabled the CureME team to successfully gain improved visibility, thereby increasing the requests for samples from ME/CFS researchers. These grants have also enabled our team to keep the Biobank facility running, involving the many procedures from the receipt of research applications to the delivery of samples, which continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also helps to fund the ongoing storage of samples, which is only covered for 5 years from collection. 

“This grant includes support for Caroline Kingdon, in her role as Biobank Coordinator, Dr Eliana Lacerda (Principal Investigator) and Dr Luis Nacul (UKMEB Director), as well as for Susan Sheedy, who administrates the team. It also covers some institutional running costs. The UKMEB has provided samples and data to many ME/CFS research groups in the UK, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East. The true worth of the facility is underlined not only by the publications coming from the release of samples but also because of the associated papers, which are widely cited in the literature.

“With this new injection of funding, we hope to be able to continue to distribute these valuable samples and data to researchers of excellence all over the world.” 

The CureME team at the UK ME/CFS Biobank
  • The Biobank’s team of researchers will be announcing results from their important 8-year study of people with ME/CFS later in the year. This will be the first time that anyone has been able to track patients over such a period while taking and assessing biological samples and clinical data. It should provide some fascinating insights into this disease.
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