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What's Happened to Dr Jonathan Kerr?

Discussion in 'XMRV Research and Replication Studies' started by Persimmon, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Purple

    Purple Bundle of purpliness

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    I agree, the description accurately describes my experience.

    Could a moderator (or anyone who can do this?) split this thread so that all the posts about the videos with Llewelyn King & Deborah Waroff and the article are in a separate thread? It is a different topic from the original title.
  2. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    Thanks, Bob. I hope this gets aired on tv as well. People must see this.
  3. Bob

    Bob

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    Sorry, I should have started a new thread, but not feeling well today, so couldn't be bothered.
    If anyone feels like it, the videos should be given a new thread (if they haven't already got one).
  4. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Done! Here's the new thread.
  5. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I imagine what happened to Kerr is what other researchers fear will happen to them and I imagine the departure of a pretty well published researcher will cast something of a pall over the field; as in - if he can't make a go of it - how could I?

    My understanding was that Kerr applied for tenure at his University and was denied. In the US - denial of tenure is a huge blow - the researcher leaves the institution and has to start all over again. I don't know what happened but my guess is that the denial of tenure and therefore the lack of job stability played into his decision to leave the field. I imagine other things may have played a role as well.

    It's really too bad because he was largely successful in his research. He was able to validate his gene expression results; that was the first time -after numerous tries anybody was able to do that.
  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I think that's unlikely - in the UK, lecturers in a university have permanent contracts (even though much of what they do is research) and can apply for research funds in their own name. Researchers are on fixed-term contracts and must be employed by lecturers, with the lecturers listed on the contract as principal investigator (even if they didn't come up with the project). There is no such thing in the UK as tenure and hasn't been for decades, unless things have changed in the last few years.

    If you are a researcher and apply for a lecturer post at the same department and get turned down it's no big career-destroying deal. You just apply for one somewhere else if that's what you want. That said, it's very competitive and it's hard to get a lectureship.
  7. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    My understanding of the science my not be good enough - but I didn't think that was really the case. Didn't his follow up study find different patterns, with different subsets?

    I don't know how significant the changes were, but his gene expression work always felt a bit like post-hoc patterns being formed in a slightly arbitrary way. Maybe it was going to be of use, but I came to it after media reports of it being a bit of a breakthrough, and was rather disappointed.

    PS: Still nice to have some work that might have been going somewhere - and I still feel pitifully grateful to Kerr for doing work that had that potential, rather than just getting another group of patients to fill in questionnaires. It is sad that he seems to have been pushed out of the field.
  8. eric_s

    eric_s Senior Member

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    The question is what is the mechanism that's at work here? Why is it and what can we do about it?

    As long as it is detrimental to a doctor's or researcher's career to go into ME/CFS we have a problem.
  9. Yogi

    Yogi

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    What actually happened to Dr Kerr. Has anyone tried to contact him?

    We constantly hear about the patients harrassing psychs but is it the case he has been hounded out by the psychs instead?

    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/show.....UK-police-and-Wessely-consider-us-dangerous!

    Are the threats being alleged in the post above in actual fact threats being made to biomedical Dr's instead?

    I would love to know more about what is going on here??
  10. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    According to the BMC register, Kerr relinquished his registration with a licence to practice as of March 2011. The end of his St George's research seems linked with a lack of funding - these are tough times - no grant = no job. Someone with his skills is likely attractive to the private sector, so maybe he's gone off to work in non clinical research where the income stream is more secure, anyway it's hardly an exceptional occurrence, happens in medical research all the time.

    IVI
  11. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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  12. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    Hi, Yogi,

    As far as I know, everything we know or can deduce, is right here in this thread. Yes, someone tried to contact Kerr directly.

    And yes, ME specialists are being abused. These abuses are different in kind from the ones alleged by Wessely.

    There's the Dr. Myhill situation:
    http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=16461

    And there's Dr. Friedman's testimony:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhB-701-BMU
  13. Yogi

    Yogi

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    Thanks for your responses.

    People who are in close contact with Drs Kerr, Friedman and Myhill should try to persuade them to write in the print media about the abuse they receive from their 'medical' colleagues so as to show the truth behind the nonsense printed in the last few weeks and to provide a counterbalance against such propaganda we have recently seen.

    If someone is not getting funding that would not necessarily mean they relinquish their GMC licence??
  14. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    Dr. Myhill is writing the media and pursuing legal action against GMC. One problem is that in the UK, the print media seems to be controlled by the SMC (on medical-related topics), which seems to be tied up with, or at least heavily advised by, the (bio)psychosocial school.

    Dr. Friedman is also quite vocal, although I don't know whether he has specifically tried to get in the papers. He has given testimony at CFSAC meetings and, as in the link above, at the NIH SoK conference. WSJ covered that event, but ADM was primarily interested in XMRV.

    Problem here is that US papers are strongly influenced by official word from health authorities (which are viewed as demi-gods and their words taken as gold), but we know the official word to be rubbish on the topic of CFS, as the health authorities are predominantly influenced by the (bio)psychosocial school. This (blind allegiance of the media to official sources) is supposed to not be the case, but it is.
  15. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    Except that according to the ME Research UK website, they were already funding his research on SNPs in ME/CFS, so lack of funding doesn't seem to make sense as the reason for the end of his ME/CFS research.
  16. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    I doubt very much that the MERUK grant was sufficient to keep a whole team running for more than a few weeks, let alone a contract term - 6 months +. Research institutions have been Draconian over the need for grant attraction for the last twenty years - being a brilliant scientist is not the determining factor for becoming (or staying !) a team leader - it's the ability to bring in money in volume, that means multiple projects, or something very big (i.e 500k+). The whole process is cut throat and the idea of a planned approach to medical research that many M.E/CFS affected people seem to think is possible went out of the window in the UK, in the 1980s. I don't know why Kerr is no longer at St Georges, but his deaprture need be nothing more than that his team was no longer a big enough 'grant draw' and room was made for researchers who had a guarantee of cash flow - that's the way research 'works' in the UK.

    IVI
  17. garcia

    garcia Aristocrat Extraordinaire

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    Given the way the psych lobby has a strangle-hold on research funding in the UK, it is hardly surprising that this happened to Dr Kerr. Dr Kerr even went on the record as saying that his grant proposals would be black-balled by psych-researchers who were on the funding panel, which if you know anything about Dr Kerr is not the kind of thing he would say lightly.

    It is absolutely criminal that the psychs get all the money in the UK and biomedical research is almost non-existent.
  18. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Dr Kerr wanted to open a clinic to treat PWME but he was unable to get funding from the local PCT or the SHA.
  19. Nielk

    Nielk

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    That is mind boggling. It just doesn't make any logical sense. Biomedical research can unveil a possible pharmacological treatment which would make the big Pharmas ecstatic. Who is benefiting fro the psych lobby to have a monopoly on this illness.
    Actually, any illness can have a psychological spin on it. From heart disease to cancer, there have been studies linking stress to the cause of these diseases. Why only pick on us?
  20. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    because the other diseases they used to claim, like multiple sclerosis, have been wrested out of their grasp. even psychiatric-classified diseases like bipolar disease and schizophrenia are turning out to be biomedical. the number of diseases psychiatrists can claim as their own territory is dwindling.

    Right now they have a stranglehold on ME, IBS, chronic Lyme disease, and probably a few others I can't think of right now, and are beginning to loose fibromyalgia and (depending on the country) Gulf War Illness (and a lot of psychiatric-classified diseases in addition to FM).

    So, it's not *only* us. But the psychiatric model of disease is losing ground. Thus they grip their few remaining diseases very tightly indeed.

    They evidently have no interest in being relegated to an appropriate supportive role where we would find them useful.

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