Bias against biomedical grant applications to the UK's Medical Research Council (MRC)

Dolphin

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I just wanted to highlight one quote on this issue:

(from http://meactionuk.org.uk/The-MRC-secret-files-on-ME.htm )

As Dr Jonathan Kerr, Sir Joseph Hotung Senior Lecturer in Inflammation, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Hon. Consultant in Microbiology, St George’s University of London, stated at the Invest in ME Conference held in London in 2006:

“It is rather sad that the MRC does not fund any biological studies such as we are doing, and I think the current…consideration of grant applications to the MRC on CFS is currently with the Neurosciences and Mental Health Board…and I think that (this) immediately biases the decision-making process because that panel is made up predominantly I believe of psychiatrists. It would be desirable if this could be reclassified (by the MRC) such that there would be money available…for biological approaches…It is a fact that currently the MRC does not fund any biological approaches”.

At the 2007 Invest in ME Conference, Dr Kerr repeated his message:

“We have applied several times to the MRC and on each occasion we were invited to submit those applications and on each occasion we got scores typically of 9, 8 and 3 – the 3 score was obviously from a psychiatrist who was complaining about our way of enrolling the patients, the criteria we had etc…David Tyrell told me the MRC will never fund biomedical research in CFS because they are in the thrall of the psychiatrists – so far, he has been right”.

DVDs of both these Conferences are available from www.investinme.org
I believe the only grant applications the MRC have funded have been made by psychiatrists and psychologists of the CBT School of Thought (aka the Wessely/Sharpe/White/Chalder School of Thought)

Unfortunately I have other things to do at the moment so not sure I'll be able to contribute to the thread but saw the quote and wanted to post it.
 

Marco

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Written answers for 7 Dec 2009 :
Column 46W

Biomedical Research

Paul Rowen: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what biomedical research into myalgic encephalomyelitis and xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus is being undertaken. [304330]

Mr. Lammy: The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC is an independent body which receives its grant in aid from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

In 2008-09 the MRC's total expenditure for research relating to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) amounted to 728,000. This supported four projects including a 164,000 research programme led by Dr. C Clark at Queen Mary College, London on the general and specific risk markers and preventive factors for chronic fatigue and irritable bowel syndromes. CFS/ME continues to be a strategic priority area for funding and the MRC remains committed to supporting scientific research into all aspects of CFS/ME including evaluations of treatments and studies into the biological basis of the condition.

The MRC recently held a CFS/ME research workshop where the recent xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus (XMRV) findings were among the items discussed. A note of the discussions will be published on the MRC website in due course.

The MRC's National Institute for Medical Research are leading a programme on infection and replication of retroviruses (including XMRV). One study within the programme is looking at how XMRV reproduces in the cell, its interaction with host cell factors and how it subverts the host immune systems.


I preferred Jonathan Kerr's answer! Perhaps he should talk to Paul Rowen, MP.
 

flybro

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This is perhaps the most telling part of government and health polivy in this country.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC is an independent body which receives its grant in aid from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Very Innovative indeed, deny care to the patients in the UK that are dependant on the NHS, and the business sector make money from private clinics, and private health insurance. Incedently how many NHS Consultants, hold private clinics, that profit from providing the treatmnet and tests that they and there collegues consitently fight to deny sick people tests on the UKs NHS.
 

Sasha

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This issue is exactly why we should all be donating to the UK research charities who fund biomedical research! Every little bit helps. You can donate directly to ME Research UK or the ME Association's Ramsay Research Fund. I follow the JustFourQuid daily blog that gives moneysaving tips each week to enable PWC and their friends and family to save money and donate a bit to biomedical research so that it doesn't even cost you anything (in fact, you both donate and make a profit!).

There is so much frustration involved in having this condition and being able to do so little about it. Donating to research is one positive, tangible thing that we can do for our own health and for everyone on this board. Please donate! Even a little bit!
 

Dolphin

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This issue is exactly why we should all be donating to the UK research charities who fund biomedical research! Every little bit helps. You can donate directly to ME Research UK or the ME Association's Ramsay Research Fund. I follow the JustFourQuid daily blog that gives moneysaving tips each week to enable PWC and their friends and family to save money and donate a bit to biomedical research so that it doesn't even cost you anything (in fact, you both donate and make a profit!).

There is so much frustration involved in having this condition and being able to do so little about it. Donating to research is one positive, tangible thing that we can do for our own health and for everyone on this board. Please donate! Even a little bit!
Agree entirely.
The Pocket Money Research Fund talks about this: http://www.pocketmoneyfund.org/index.php . We have the power. People say bodies such as the MRC are turning biomedical researchers down for funding. The same could be said of ME/CFS sufferers who don't donate ....