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NIH awards £1m grant to UK Biobank

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by John Mac, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    They must have put a good proposal together. I'd have thought that it's even harder to get a grant from the NIH if you are outside the US, because you would have to demonstrate potential benefit to the US still.
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  2. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Way I look at it is this is a long-term background project that will help facilitate research in the future. It is worth doing because it will better enable more research upstream. It also proposes the long-term monitoring. Will try and find out if I can what the application itself comprised - and if possible - what exactly appealed to the NIH. But I think it's in everyone's interest really to have these projects running. There's one too in Norway isn't there?

    Also the funding is over is over 3 years don't forget - but that's still a notable chunk of cash. What is more interesting to me at least is the decision to fund this Biobank and not the US ones (CAA and OMI-MERIT). Now, it could simply be that they haven't applied for funding from this source and will be doing so in the future - but I am kerfuddled right now and can't remember details.

    You know, I was saying on Facebook, that for us in the UK and perhaps elsewhere, at the very least this to me represents a solid endorsement that ME is recognised as a disease worth investigating seriously, and as this is biomedical research - it's helping significantly to allay any existing notions of the purely psychological nature. I really do think this is a phenomenal development for us especially in the UK. It shows commitment and belief I think. But that's just me. I have had no problem at all in calling my family and telling them how I feel and they are as pleased as I am that the American Government have shown such an endorsement.

    For those concerned about the selection criteria still, then this comment from Charles might help:

    Hey, you know I was thinking, that it costs an awful lot of money to do what they are doing, don't you think? I mean they've collected 100 samples already, and aim for 500 in total I believe - but this money from the US will only fund the project for 3 years. I find that quite staggering. Goes to show I suppose the amount of work involved: assessing, collecting, analysing, storing... etc.

    And that use of MS samples is intriguing too. Fascinating that they will be doing that alongside 'normal' controls. Did you notice that they will arrange for samples to be taken in a person's own home? This means of course that those with severe ME can participate. It's one area that I know they are very keen to ensure are reached.

    Anyway, enough of my blather. Happy kid with a thumping head :)
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  3. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hi Firestormm - I hope I'm not sounding critical of the grant being awarded to this excellent project - it's clearly exremely worthwhile and it's great that the NIH is willing to recognise the international value. My only surprise is the NIH not supporting their home-grown research proposals with equal enthusiasm. That's the weirdness: the mismatch in support.
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  4. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Nah you don't come across as negative, Sasha. Legitimate questions I'd say. I think though it's not a black and white comparison - at least that's how I'm seeing it. This is a Biobank and not an individual research proposal. And of course each application is judged on it's merits. It does though offer something fundamentally different and it may be - I don't know of course - that the funding 'pot' is from a different allocation within the budget as it's a UK source? Not sure or clear how it works really. I am though - again - surprised it wasn't afforded to a US Biobank but as I said there could be a simple explanation for this i.e. they haven't applied - or that the UK project is up and running and with 100 samples collected (I know the CAA have begun and collected but OMI-MERIT haven't). Maybe tomorrow the UK Government MRC will fund something in the USA for ME? Perhaps it's the start of something new :)
  5. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Yes, that would be interesting! :)
  6. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    My guess is that the potential benefit to the US ME/CFS patients is that it will eventially prove a real physiological illness exists in the UK leading to a stronger effort to get Wessely and crew to shut the F up and stop screwing up the published data on the illness. That would be enough to forward research into the illness about 10 years. That's my thinking, anyway. ;)

    Yeah, right. :rolleyes: We wish. [Sorry, we just got furloughed and not feeling excited about gov't choices in how money our money is spent. I'll get over it. :)]
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  7. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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  8. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    For me the mismatch is how little money they spend. If they were serious about their commitment to funding based on disease burden, they would have funded many of the high quality proposals from US researchers as well. I'm talking $50 million per year, not $5 million. All of this is fully justified by the data.
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  9. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Totally agree. Much weirdness from the NIH when it comes to their ME research funding.
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  10. SpecialK82

    SpecialK82 Senior Member

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    I agree with Sasha's and Firestormm points that it seems to be so weird coming from the US when the US projects have such a difficult time getting anything, and as Firestormm said, we have two biobank projects here which will need alot of support. I'm am very excited that the UK is getting the help it deserves no matter where it comes from though.

    It would be a great question to ask Susan Meier of the NIH - how exactly did this happen?? It would be awesome if somehow the US biobanks and the UK biobank could share results (of course they must use the same definition, etc.) and could gain synergy working together. The NIH funding would then make more sense to me if we had a network of banks that would work together. This hasn't been mentioned though, and I certainly hope that the banks involved will discuss those possibilities. It would be a huge step in the wrong direction for them not to sync up on criteria ahead of time.
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  11. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Because we have so much money and so little debt! We need to try to buy friends, because we suck!

    GG
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  12. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Well, I'm happy to have been bought for £1 million! :)
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  13. Bob

    Bob

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    Me too! :)

    Thank you to our USA friends! :)

    UK folk definitely need the USA, and everyone else involved in ME research (e.g. Norway, Australia), because our future would probably be hopeless without you.

    I'm really surprised by this grant as well. It is a very large amount, considering how CFS research is usually funded.

    I doubt if the grant is a one-way street. At the very least, the USA will have access to the results of the research that the grant will allow. Good quality research is good quality research, wherever it's carried out.
    And perhaps USA researchers will be allowed access to the UK biobank samples, as a condition of the grant?

    I've not seen the details of the grant yet, but it seems to involve some research funding, and not just funding for the biobank. I'd like to see the details if anyone knows where to find them.
  14. John Mac

    John Mac

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    Totally agree with you Bob. Whenever I get angry about the way we get treated here in the UK by the SW school and the media I always remind myself that we still have the USA to fight our corner
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  15. Bob

    Bob

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  16. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Thanks for this senor roberto :) You see that London Tropical have previously got an award out of the NIH for the ME/CFS longitudinal study $500k. Here and Here. Looks then like they have an established relationship. Very interesting... :) Good background for my article. Muchas Gracias amigo :)

    Guess that answers some folks questions :)
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  17. Bob

    Bob

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  18. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Bob I am intrigued now. Do you think the above is in addition to the £1m announcement? Only the date of this $539k is 15 June 2013. Am left wondering if it isn't part of the £1m allocation. Any ideas?
  19. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Oopps we crossed posts :) I will find out for definite when I speak to Luis if I can.
  20. Bob

    Bob

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    I agree with your thoughts. I think it's half of the £1m. And my guess is that the other half goes towards running the biobank for another 3 years. (I think they said it would keep it running for another 3 years?)

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