Research News from Fane Mensah
Fane Mensah is being funded by Invest in ME Research for B-cell research [The potential role of B cells and their products in ME/CFS Patients]
Collaboration with Christopher Armstrong
As part of our Solve ME/CFS Initiative Ramsay award winning collaboration,
Christopher Armstrong from the Bio21 Institute (Melbourne University, Australia) came over to work with us at UCL for one month.
A quick flashback to June 2016, at the 6th Invest in ME Research International Biomedical Research into ME Colloquium (#BRMEC6) meeting in London where Chris and I met. We were the two youngest scientists at the meeting to give a presentation about our research.
It would not have been the first thing we would have in common!
Straight after our presentations we started to talk about each other’s experiments and found out that the two completely different fields we were working in (Immunology and Metabolomics) could be complementary.
It is well known that immune issues have often been associated with ME/CFS (B cells, NK cells T cells etc.).
More recently, different groups, including Christopher and his colleagues have studied changes in the metabolic profile in ME/CFS patients.
Their data is very promising and consistent which supports a possible role in this condition.
Following some bonding drinks after the conference, Christopher visited us (myself and Dr. Cambridge) the next week
at UCL where we laid the base for our collaboration.
After Christopher returned to Australia, and several (late and early) Skype meetings we put together a grant application for the Solve ME/CFS Initiative Ramsay award which is an award that supports (young) scientists from different fields committed to ME/CFS research. This award gives them the opportunity to lay the basis for more substantial collaborative research projects.
The next generation scientists: BSc student internship at UCL
With the support of the Invest in ME Research charity, we were very fortunate to have Isabelle de Rooij
visiting our laboratory for a 5-month internship. Isabelle is a BSc student from Hogeschool Rotterdam in the Netherlands (my old University)
undertaking the Bachelor of Science course in biology and medical laboratory sciences.
As tipped for the best student in her year, we had big expectations from here and she did not disappoint us!
During her internship, she not only learned different laboratory skills and techniques but also got an insight into the biomedical research applied to ME/CFS. This was just as important as the technical part of the internship.
Isabelle really enjoyed her time her and was very passionate about her project. She significantly contributed to the development of new protocols for our future experiments, and assisted me with ongoing projects related to the joint project with Christopher Armstrong.
We were very proud of Isabelle when she finished her internship, which was examined based on her technical lab skills
and final report, with 9.5/10.
A great achievement from a great student! Her university was so impressed and satisfied with her achievements and progress in our group that they have asked us if we would be interested in future collaborations.
We are happy to say that we have accepted another student who will start in February!
From Invest in ME Research
The article by Fane shows the importance of Invest in ME Research's strategy of international collabration in research into ME.
The meeting between Fane and Chris (and Zaher Nahle from Solve CFS) came about because the charity invited all of them to the #BRMEC6 Colloquium.
The article also demonstrates the importance of our strategy of funding students in research into ME - a strategy proven to be successful and making a real difference.
We will try to continue this but we do need support.
As we fund future phases of the work to build the UK Centre of Excellence for ME foundations then more demands are made on the funds we have.
We welcome support to establish the UK Centre of Excellence for ME.
Ways to help us are shown in the column at the right of our page.
Our current funding target for medical students for the Centre of Excellence for ME, including the students mentioned by Fane in his article, is shown to the right.