CFS/ME Research Collaborative

The UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative (CMRC) was established in April 2013 as a working group of researchers, research funding organisations and M.E. charities.

The ME Association is an active member of the Executive Board.


To promote the discovery of the biological mechanisms that underpin CFS/ME, which, together with clinical observation, will drive the development of targeted new treatments for this highly underserved patient population.


  • To design, implement and analyse the outcome of a cross-stakeholder,
    comprehensive, national research strategy for CFS/ME and experimental medicine.
  • To create an open cross-sector platform for effective knowledge-exchange and data sharing both nationally and internationally, in order to optimise research, raise awareness of the disease, and influence policymakers and investors.


  • We are an intellectually generous community sharing data, best practice and technologies.
  • We are a creative community harnessing new ideas, new technologies and new ways of working.
  • We are a collaborative community inviting all stakeholders to join our programmes and shape our activity.
  • We are an enabling community, facilitating the leverage of further resources for CFS/ME research.

For more details please see the 2018 CMRC overview.


The CMRC is chaired by Stephen Holgate from the University of Southampton who is also Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology and Honorary Consultant Physician. It was largely because of Professor Holgate’s involvement in the MRC Expert Group on ME/CFS and his continuing determination to discover the underlying causes of the disease and find effective forms of treatment, that the collaborative was born.

The ME Association, as an active member of the MRC Expert Group, also supported Professor Holgate in establishing the CMRC and strongly believes in the importance of this working partnership – especially in helping to bring ME/CFS to the recognition of mainstream science as a legitimate biomedical disease in desperate need of increased funding.

CMRC Executive

For more information about the terms of reference for the executive board and who the current members are, visit this page.

Joining the CMRC

If you would like to join the CMRC or are interested in further details about the different forms of membership, visit the bottom of this page.

CMRC Meeting Summaries

The CMRC executive board meet at least quarterly and hold an AGM in April each year. Following each meeting they make summaries publicly available. You can read them on this page of our website.

CMRC Latest News

  • The 2020 CMRC Research Conference will take place 10-11 March in Bristol, and tickets are now on sale. The MEA is also offering 6 student bursaries. For more information, please visit the latest MEA blog which carries all the information you need.
  • The ME/CFS Biomedical Partnership has launched a new website. Visit the platform for more information about the GWAS project and to leave comments and suggestions on recruitment etc.
  • MRC/NIHR: The ME/CFS Biomedical Partnership – Workshop Outcomes – A Summary Report.
    The ME/CFS Biomedical Partnership met with the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to discuss an application for funding a large genome-wide association study (GWAS).
    If the funding application is successful, the GWAS will collect saliva samples from 20,000 people with M.E. The research team is planning on using both the Canadian Consensus Criteria and Institute of Medicine criteria. This means that the 20,000 people recruited will need to meet one or both of these criteria, with post-exertional malaise being mandatory.
    A research application will be submitted to MRC and NIHR in January for consideration for funding, following peer review.
  • MRC/NIHR Workshop: The ME/CFS Biomedical Partnership – Genetics and Biomarkers
    An ambitious and significant research project has been announced by the CMRC that will seek 20,000 DNA samples from people with M.E. for a GWAS study, and also lead to an expansion of the ME Biobank. The MRC are hosting a workshop with interested parties to help researchers ensure that the application for funding will be as good as it possibly can.

CMRC Research Conference

The 2020 Research Conference

The 6th CMRC research conference will be held in Bristol on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 March.

The ME Association will be again funding student bursary places. See this blog for more information about the early-bird registration.

Previous CMRC Research Conference Reports:

The ME Association

Ramsay Research Fund

We are a national charity working hard to improve the lives of people devastated by an often-misunderstood neurological disease. 

We believe biomedical research offers the best hope to people affected by M.E. If you would like to support our investment then please donate to the Ramsay Research Fund. 

Just click the image opposite to visit our JustGiving page for single donations or to establish a regular payment. You can even establish your own fundraising event.

Or why not join the ME Association as a member and be part of our growing community? For a monthly (or annual) subscription you will also receive ME Essential – quite simply the best M.E. magazine!

ME Association Registered Charity Number 801279

Visit the other pages in this section:

  • Research Projects:
    RRF investment in infrastructure and laboratory research. Also, position statements on long-term initiatives like the Rituximab clinical trial and the Post-Mortem Tissue Bank and how you can donate tissue after death.
  • Published Research:
    RRF studies from 2000 to present; PACE Trial reanalysis and critical commentary, and MEA illness management reports and critical trial reviews; MEA research summaries and research updates.
  • Volunteering for Research:
    ME/CFS research requiring volunteers.
  • CFS/ME Research Collaborative:
    The ME Association is an active member of the Executive Board of the CMRC. Here you can learn more about this organisation, become a member, read the conference reviews, and meeting summaries.

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