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First Clare Francis Research fellowship awarded

October 02, 2023

We are thrilled to announce that the first Clare Francis Research fellowship has been awarded to Audrey Ryback.

Audrey will be affiliated to the Genetics Centre of Excellence at the University of Edinburgh, with Professor Chris Ponting supervising the 2-year fellowship. This will be funded by Action for M.E. with a commitment of £147,000.

Audrey will be researching the impact of ME/CFS on mitochondrial function as identified by The ME/CFS Priority Setting Partnership, research priority number 10. Considerable scientific evidence suggests that the way in which energy is produced and used by cells within the body is abnormal in those affected by ME/CFS. Therefore, the role of mitochondria, the cellular “powerhouses”, in this condition is recognised as a priority for further research.

Audrey’s research project will try to identify and characterise factors in the blood of patients that may be responsible for disturbing their mitochondria. Equally important, if Audrey can show that such a factor exists, this could provide a meaningful and easy-to-measure diagnostic test for ME/CFS, for which none currently exists.