In May 2012, during M.E. Awareness Week, Action for M.E. announced that it had awarded a total of £61,000 to three biomedical pilot research projects at Newcastle, Northumbria and Sheffield universities.
The charity’s initial October 2011 call for proposals announced that, thanks to a generous gift from an anonymous private donor, a research fund of £50,000 would be available. However, following independent scientific review, Action for M.E. decided to fund three projects at a total cost of more than £61,000, drawing on funds provided by our Supporting Membership for research purposes.
Awarded £25,000, the study Understanding muscle dysfunction in M.E./CFS: developing a drug pre-testing system will be led by Dr Phil Manning and Prof Julia Newton at Newcastle University.
Dr Jason Ellis at Northumbria University will lead on A case controlled study exploring the qualitative experience of sleep, the roles of sleep architecture and diurnal patterns of salivary cortisol in M.E./CFS, awarded £11,550.
An award of £24,832 was made to Prof Annalena Venneri, University of Sheffield for Uncovering the biological correlates of cognitive impairment associated with fatigue in M.E./ CFS: a pilot study of cognition and functional connectivity pre and post-exertional malaise.
Prof Derek Pheby, Trustee, Action for M.E., commented, "These three pilot projects have great potential for identifying underlying disease processes in M.E. They fit well with the UK scientific research agenda agreed by the Medical Research Council M.E./CFS Expert Group. Importantly, they also extend the number of universities involved in research with Action for M.E."