The 8th Invest in ME International ME Conference 2013
IIME - Infection, Immunity and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - Mainstreaming ME Research
Clinical and Research Updates
31st May 2013 Westminster, London





from 07.45

Registration - early morning coffee/tea available


Dr Ian Gibson

Welcome to the Conference


Dr Daniel  Peterson

Key Note Speech: The Mainstreaming of ME Research


Dr Andreas Kogelnik

Key Note Speech: Making ME Mainstream: Strategies for ME Research and Collaboration


Dr Rakib Rayhan

The Role of the Brain and ME





Refreshment Break


Professor Greg Towers

Retroviruses and ME


Professor Mady Hornig

Pathogen Discovery in ME







Dr Clare Gerada

Govt NHS Reforms: Implications for long term chronic conditions such as ME – for GPs and Patients


Professor Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik

Current Knowledge of Immunological Biomarkers


Dr Amolak Bansal

Clinical Immunology and Research on B-cell Abnormalities in ME Patients





Refreshment Break


Professor Carmen Scheibenbogen

Immunological Basis of ME


Professor Olav Mella

B-cell Depletion Therapy Using Rituximab in ME/CFS - Part I


Dr Øystein Fluge

B-cell Depletion Therapy Using Rituximab in ME/CFS - Part II


Plenary & Summary

Dr Ian Gibson - Questions 



NOTE: Times and presentations are subject to change



Dr Ian Gibson

Former Dean of Biological Sciences, UEA  

Dr Ian Gibson, former Labour MP for Norwich North, worked at University of East Anglia for 32 years, became Dean of the school of biological sciences in 1991 and was head of a cancer research team and set up the Francesca Gunn Leukaemia Laboratory at UEA.

In 2011 Dr Gibson received an honorary doctorate of civil law from UEA.


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 Dr Daniel Peterson

Simmaron Research Foundation, USA

With over 25 years of medical practice, Dr Daniel L. Peterson has become a sought-after internist for diagnosing difficult and complex medical cases. When several patients in Incline Village became ill with symptoms that resembled persistent mononucleosis, Daniel Peterson was one of the first physicians to recognize an outbreak of what is known as ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

He became a pioneering physician and researcher in understanding the biological characteristics and methods for diagnosing, managing and treating ME/CFS. He has also performed major studies of Ampligen as a treatment for ME/CFS, and studying the possible role of human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) in CFS patients. 

See Wikipedia entry - click here

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Associate Professor Mady Hornig
Center for Infection and Immunity (CII),
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
New York, USA

Professor Mady HornigMady Hornig, MA, MD is a physician-scientist in the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health where she serves as Director of Translational Research and is an associate professor of epidemiology.

Her research focuses on the role of microbial, immune, and toxic stimuli in the development of neuropsychiatric conditions, including autism, PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infection), mood disorders and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

She is widely known both for establishing animal models that identify how genes and maturational factors interact with environmental agents to lead to brain disorders and for her work clarifying the role of viruses, intestinal microflora and xenobiotics in autism and other neuropsychiatric illnesses that may be mediated by immune mechanisms.

Under her direction, proteomic analyses of umbilical cord samples are identifying potential birth biomarkers for autism in a prospective study in Norway, the Autism Birth Cohort (ABC). She established that there was no association between intestinal measles virus transcripts and autism, and, with Brent Williams and W. Ian Lipkin at CII, has found altered expression of genes relating to carbohydrate metabolism and inflammatory pathways and differences in the bacteria harboured in the intestines of children with autism. She also leads projects examining the influence of immune molecules on brain development and function and their role in the genesis of schizophrenia, major depression, and cardiovascular disease comorbidity in adults, and directs the Chronic Fatigue initiative Pathogen Discovery and Pathogenesis Project at CII.

In 2004, Dr. Hornig presented to the Institute of Medicine Immunization Safety Review Committee and testified twice before congressional subcommittees regarding the role of infections and toxins in autism pathogenesis.

Her work in ME/CFS is establishing immune profiles and helping to identify pathogens that may be linked to disease.

Her work on the MIND (Microbiology and Immunology of Neuropsychiatric Disorders) Project, one of the largest studies of immune factors in mood disorders and schizophrenia, examines the role of viruses and immune responses in the pathogenesis of these disorders.


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Professor Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik
School of Medical Sciences, Griffith University


Professor Marshall-Gradisnik is one of Australia's foremost researchers in the area of neuroimmunology and has been instrumental in establishing the Public Health and Neuroimmunology Unit (PHANU) at Bond University.

Much of her work relates specifically to autoimmunity in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers and she is regularly asked to speak to community groups on behalf of Queensland Health and NSW Health. Her research in the area of exercise immunology has also contributed to the body of knowledge relating to the effect of doping in sport and she serves as Sports Medicine Australia's national spokesperson in this area.

The vital research conducted by Professor Marshall has attracted more than $1 million in grant funding and she has produced 21 peer-reviewed papers, five book chapters and one provisional patent. In 2008 Dr Marshall was joint leader of the Bond University team responsible for developing the the BioSMART program. The team was awarded a prestigious Australian Teaching and Learning Council Award (formerly known as the Carrick Award) for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning and for the quality of student learning over a sustained period of time.


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Dr Carmen Scheibenbogen
Professor for Immunology and Deputy Chair
Institute of Medical Immunology
Berlin Charité, Germany

Group leader of a Tumour Immunology Laboratory and Attending Physician at the Dept. of Hämatologie, Onkologie und Transfusionsmedizin, CBF, Charité

2/1997 Venia legendi for Internal Medicine "Habilitation"

1990 - 1998 Residency at the Med. Klinik und Poliklinik V, Hämatologie,

Onkologie und Rheumatologie, Universität Heidelberg

1988 - 1990 Postdoctoral fellowship at the Med. Klinik, Dept. of Hämatologie und

Onkologie, Universität Freiburg

1982 - 88 Medical school at the Universities of Bonn, Marburg and Denver

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Dr Clare Gerada
Chair Royal College of GPs  


Dr Clare Gerada is the first female Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in 50 years.

She is the daughter of a GP and  studied medicine at University College London, qualifying in 1982. She trained in medicine, then psychiatry and became a GP in South London. That practice started in 1969 and remains on the ground floor of a 19-storey housing estate in Lambeth - now one of the largest GP group practices in London.

She represented the Department of Health advising the Maltese Government on their drug policy.

Over the years, Dr Gerada has held a number of local and national leadership positions, including Director of Primary Care for the National Clinical Governance Team and Senior Medical Advisor to the Department of Health. In 2008, she won the contract to run the Practitioner Health Programme (, a pioneering programme providing confidential services to doctors and dentists with mental health or addiction problems.

Dr Gerada has published a number of academic papers, articles, books and chapters and has strong links to three Royal Colleges. She is a Member of Royal College of Psychiatrists, Fellow of Royal College of General Practitioners and was awarded a Fellowship of Royal College of Physicians in 2008.

She has a long involvement with the RCGP; she was previously Vice Chair of College Council and is immediate past Chair of the Ethics Committee and established the RCGP’s groundbreaking Substance Misuse Unit. Dr Gerada was awarded an MBE in the Millennium Birthday Honours for services to medicine and substance misuse.

Dr Gerada is now chair of the Royal College of GPs.


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Professor Olav Mella
Bergen University Hospital, Norway  

Professor Mella and Dr Fluge have published a paper "Benefit from B-Lymphocyte Depletion Using the Anti-CD20 Antibody Rituximab in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. A Double-Blind and Placebo-Controlled Study".

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Dr Øystein Fluge
Bergen University Hospital, Norway  

Dr Øystein Fluge received medical degree in 1988 at the University of Bergen, and is a specialist in oncology since 2004. He has worked as a Research Fellow with support from the Norwegian Cancer Society and is now chief physician at the Cancer Department, Haukeland University Hospital. Doctoral work emanates from the Surgical Institute and Department of Molecular Biology, University of Bergen.


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Dr Andreas Kogelnik
Director of the Open Medicine Institute,

Dr Andreas Kogelnik Dr Andreas Kogelnik is the Founding Director of the Open Medicine Institute, a collaborative, community-based translational research institute dedicated to personalized medicine with a human touch while using the latest advances in medicine, informatics, genomics, and biotechnology. The Institute works closely with the Open Medicine Clinic and other clinics to conduct research and apply new knowledge back into clinical practice.

Dr. Kogelnik received his M.D. from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and his Ph.D. in bioengineering/bioinformatics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Subsequently, he completed is residency in Internal Medicine and a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Stanford University and its affiliated hospitals. Following his clinical training, he remained at Stanford with NIH funding to engage in post-doctoral research in microbiology, immunology and bioinformatics with Dr. Ellen Jo Baron and Dr. Stanley Falkow, where he explored host-response profiles in severely ill patients.

Together with Dr. José Montoya, he was instrumental in the conception, design, and execution of the EVOLVE study - a placebo-controlled, double-blind study of a subset of chronic fatigue syndrome patients with evidence of viral infection.

Dr. Kogelnik worked with Dr. Atul Butte in translational informatics to determine patterns that indicated a high risk for adverse events in paediatric patients at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital. He is the Medical Director of the Open Medicine Clinic - a community-based research clinic focussed on chronic infectious diseases, neuroimmune disease, and immunology. Dr. Kogelnik has published numerous scientific papers and book chapters, is an Editor of Computers in Medicine and Biology, and is a Consulting Assistant Professor at Stanford University. With the Open Medicine Institute, he has led the formation of CFS and Lyme Registries and Biobanks as well as creating an infrastructure for providers to collect better data and implement clinical trials across a network of sites.

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Dr Amolak Bansal
Consultant Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology
Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust
Surrey, UK

Dr. Bansal trained in immunology and allergy from 1989 to 1993 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Manchester and at Hope Hospital in Salford.

From here he spent five years (1993-1997) as Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Clinical Immunology in the Department of Medicine at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, Australia.

From 1997 to the present date Dr. Bansal has worked as a Consultant in Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology at Epsom and St Helier University Hospital.

Dr Bansal’s key interests lie in allergy, autoimmunity, CFS/ME and immunodeficiency.


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 Rakib Rayhan
Researcher at Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center
Georgetown University Medical Center

Rakib Rayhan works with Dr James Baraniuk at Georgetown University, Washington, and is deeply interested in symptomatic development and chronification of pain and fatigue in idiopathic illnesses such as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Gulf War Illness (GWI), and Fibromyalgia (FM). Understanding pain perception, autonomic and cognitive dysfunction in relation to abnormal functional and structural changes within the brain in GWI has been Mr. Rayhan’s specific focus for the 2 past years.

He has discovered that white matter alterations in the right inferior-frontal occipital fasciculus are strongly associated with the severity and perception of pain and fatigue. In addition, he has identified two unique phenotypes based upon autonomic and hyperalgesic changes in response to an exercise-challenge.

Changes in symptoms were associated with distinct patterns in working memory cognitive networks and discrete regions of brain atrophy. These recent discoveries have substantiated GWI as a central nervous system disorder.

He is actively engaged in further pursuing a systems biology approach to the neuroimaging research by examining genomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

His desire is to identify potential biomarkers that provide objective support to disease criteria and that are then translated into new and affordable therapies leading to a better quality of life for patients.

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Professor Greg Towers
Professor of Molecular Virology,
Research Department of Infection,
Div of Infection & Immunity
University College London
London, UK


Research Activities
Host factors influencing viral tropism and antiviral innate immunity
Innate Immunity
Retrovirus in gene therapy and xenotransplantation
Transcription and chromatin

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