The Biobank functions as an open resource for clinical and biomedical research into ME/CFS, and in particular for research into biomarkers of the disease. It empowers research into the diagnosis, prognosis, and stratification (sub-grouping) of ME/CFS, enabling a wide range of research studies in an extremely cost-effective manner.
The UKMEB is the first ME/CFS-specific biobank in Europe and one of the first in the world. The biobank’s rigorous, disease-specific protocols enable strong conclusions to be drawn from its samples, and have served as a model for other biobanks across the globe. The UK ME/CFS Biobank currently stores samples from over 500 donors representing those with ME/CFS, MS and healthy control donors. Over 30,000 aliquots of blood (collected over two time-points) have been processed and are currently held at the UCL/RFH Biobank in London.
The UKMEB is the only biobank at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and is a notable part of LSHTM’s diverse research agenda. The UKMEB is also part of EUROMENE, the European Network on ME/CFS, and has distributed samples to researchers in the UK, Europe and America.
“Setting up the ME/CFS Biobank shows how patients, charities and researchers can all work together to create a unique item of research infrastructure.
Thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of the whole Biobank team, the Biobank is now open and providing samples and clinical data to research groups both here and abroad. All of which represents a major step forward in helping us to discover the cause, diagnostic biomarkers and effective forms of treatment for people with ME/CFS.”
Dr Charles Shepherd, Medical Adviser, The ME Association.