This is part of a groundbreaking initiative funded by the charity and this particular fellowship covers a two-year period, undertaking vital fundamental research into ME/CFS that will underpin the development of new treatments for this devastating disease. It is made possible through an exceptionally generous donation from LunaNova, the brand of a small UK technology company.
As the second such fellowship from Invest in ME Research, it builds upon the foundations of the UK/European Centre of Excellence for ME research hub being established at the Quadram Institute, by bringing together world-class researchers, facilities, and international collaborations. It seeks to accelerate progress by concentrating research efforts aligned to a strategy of biomedical research.
Invest in ME Research Chairman, Kathleen McCall, expressed gratitude for the support received, stating: “This significant investment underscores our confidence in the Quadram Institute and the direction of ME research. It not only funds critical research but also aligns with our vision of continuing the development of the UK Centre of Excellence for ME in Norwich Research Park. With five PhDs, the only clinical trial for ME in the UK, and now two fellowships being funded, the charity is dedicated to continue supporting this unique Centre of Excellence for ME research. We are grateful for this company’s incredible and generous donation, which exemplifies confidence in both our organisation and the shared vision of advancing ME research in Norwich Research Park.”
Mike Buckingham, CEO of LunaNova’s parent company, said: “We have seen first hand the devastating impact ME has on patients’ lives. Even at its mildest, it is a condition that can completely stunt a person’s potential and at its severest is nothing short of a living death that persists for decades. Biomedical research is the only path that can credibly solve this, yet it has been spectacularly neglected over the last few decades in favour of now debunked psychological approaches. During this time the global economic impact of this condition has run into trillions of US dollars. Whilst we wait for Governments and policymakers to wake up to the gravity of the situation and begin to fund biomedical research at a scale and pace truly commensurate with the condition’s impact, it is largely charities that have been driving progress. Invest In ME Research (IIMER) are one such charity. They have worked tirelessly in the UK to raise awareness and promote funding of biomedical research.”
“LunaNova have committed to donating at least 10% of profits to medical research and are delighted to use some of these funds to work with IIMER and the team at the Quadram Institute to establish an IIMER-LunaNova research fellowship. We sincerely hope that this can help accelerate progress towards much needed treatments to alleviate the suffering of ME and related conditions, such as Long Covid.”
Professor Simon Carding of the Quadram Institute and University of East Anglia who leads the research programme into ME/CFS said:
“This landmark LunaNova fellowship builds on the foundations we have established in Norwich in partnership with the charity to facilitate and support fundamental research in ME/CFS for patient benefit.
“This project is important as it aims to address the underlying causes of ME/CFS and establish the relationship between infections and declining immune function and immune insufficiency which is present in many patients. The fellowship is also important as it allows us to extend our collaboration with a team at a centre of excellence in Valencia, Spain led by Prof Oltra-Garcia and establish new collaborations with immune ageing specialists at the University of Birmingham.”
The first-ever fellowship for ME, was announced in 2022, and was recently renamed the Invest in ME Research ‘Ian Gibson’ Fellowship for ME, in memory of the former MP, cancer researcher and passionate advocate for ME/CFS research.
The Quadram Institute, situated within the thriving Norwich Research Park, is the leading location for a Centre of Excellence for ME in the UK and Europe. Its dedication to ME research, state-of-the-art facilities, and collaborative environment deserve continued funding to propel discoveries in this complex disease.
Quadram Institute and Invest in ME Research remain committed to advancing research into ME, offering hope for the future of individuals and families affected by this debilitating disease. As the charity continues to invest in groundbreaking initiatives, the journey towards unravelling the complexities of ME takes a significant leap forward.
This fellowship is named after LunaNova, the brand of a small UK technology company specializing in the operation of high-availability server and networking infrastructure. A key part of its product suite provides high-performance, non-custodial staking services on a number of prominent blockchain networks. These include Solana, NEAR, The Graph and Axelar.