Trial By Error: Dutch Agency Awards Big Biomedical ME/CFS Grant to Judith Rosmalen, Professor of Psychosomatic Medicine2 Comments / By David Tuller / 26 April 2023
By David Tuller, DrPH
*April is crowdfunding month at UC Berkeley. If you like my work, consider making a tax-deductible donation to Berkeley’s School of Public Health to support the Trial By Error project: https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/37217
On Tuesday, ZonMw announced the first grant recipients in its program of “biomedical research on ME/CFS”—the initial round of awards from the €11.6 million allocated for the 10-year effort. I wrote on Monday about the resignation earlier this month of a patient representative involved in the grant-making process, a move that raised concerns about the upcoming announcement. In resigning, Lou Corsius, a longtime advocate with a severely ill daughter, declared that he had “fully lost” his trust in ZonMw, although he did not offer any specific reasons.
Now it’s clear what the fuss was about.
Of the funds slated to be doled out, €4.4 million are going to a consortium headed by Judith Rosmalen, a professor of psychosomatic medicine at the University of Groningen. Her profile page on the university’s site lists her areas of expertise as “psychosomatic medicine, persistent somatic symptoms, medically unexplained symptoms, functional syndromes, somatic symptom disorders.” That hardly seems like the appropriate background for someone charged with investigating biomedical causes and treatments—not psychosocial ones–for ME/CFS.
Professor Rosmalen is a member of the advisory board of the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, which appears to function as something of a house organ for members of the GET/CBT ideological brigades; Professor Michael Sharpe, the Oxford don and a lead investigator of the discredited PACE trial, and Professor Per Fink, a Danish psychiatrist, are also advisory board members. Last June, Professor Rosmalen introduced Professor Sharpe with flattering verbiage at a gathering of the European Association of Psychological Medicine, as can be viewed here.