The Infectious Aetiology of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis


Join us for the Young EMERG 2024 Symposium for Promoting the Advancement of Research Knowledge in ME (SPARK ME), a unique gathering tailored for young and early career researchers, and medical students, passionate about advancing research in ME and post-viral illnesses.
Hosted on the 25th June 2024, at the prestigious Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge, UK, SPARK ME is a hybrid event organised by Young EMERG and UK charity Invest in ME Research.
This international workshop warmly welcomes registrants from across the globe. Hinxton Hall

SPARK ME aims to facilitate collaboration, knowledge exchange, and networking among early career researchers in the field of ME.
The event offers a safe space for early career researchers to discuss challenges and gain valuable insights into pursuing ME research.
Through engaging talks, participants will be equipped with knowledge of the current research landscape, funding opportunities, ME biobanks, how to pursue a career in academia and much more!

At SPARK ME, early career researchers have the opportunity to showcase their work through oral and poster presentations.

The workshop also features interactive breakout groups and roundtable discussions, enabling participants to collaborate on advancing ME research. SPARK ME is a pivotal opportunity for emerging researchers to connect, learn, and contribute to the ongoing effort to advance research knowledge in ME.

SPARK ME is organised by UK Charity Invest in ME Research and initiates the charity's International ME Conference Week (25-28 June 2024). Other events include the #BRMEC13 - 13th International Biomedical Research into ME Colloquium and #IIMEC16 - 16th International ME Conference for clinicians and the public.


Workshop Agenda

The workshop will take place from 09:00 until 17:00.
This will be followed by an optional post-workshop dinner - arranged and subsidised by Invest in ME Research - for delegates who have registered for it.

Session Presenter(s)
08:30 Arrival and poster installation
chaired by Dr Katharine Seton, PhD.
09:00 Welcome and research landscape Dr Katharine Seton
Quadram Institute, UK / Chair of Young EMERG
09:30 NIH ME/CFS research roadmap research priorities Dr Vicky Whittemore
NINDS, National Institues of Health, USA
ME/CFS career development
chaired by José Espejo-Oltra, Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine
10:00 Navigating a career in academia Professor Adrian Liston
University of Cambridge, UK
10:30 Refreshments
ME/CFS career development (continued)
chaired by José Espejo-Oltra, Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine
11:00 ME/CFS research perspective Dr Francisco Westermeier
FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences, Austria
11:30 - Funding opportunities European Research Council
12:10 Lunch
ME/CFS biobanks
chaired by Johanna Rohrhofer, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
13:00 Existing ME/CFS biobanks in Europe Eva Untersmayr-Elsenhuber
Medical University of Vienna, Austria / European ME Research Group (EMERG)
ECR talks
– chaired by Donia Jamal Ramadan, Universty of Oslo, Norway
13:30 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: Neurocardiological approach Nikola Markovic
Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases Dedinje, Serbia
13:45 Developing a metagenomics method for gastrointestinal virome analysis in ME/CFS patient Rik Haagmans
Quadram Institute Bioscience, UK
14:00 Clarifying molecular cause and effect relationships in ME/CFS lymphoblastoid cell lines Tina Katsaros
La Trobe University, Australia
14:15 Statistical Analysis of iCPET Data Finds Sex-specific Effect in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Joshua Dibble
Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts General Hospital, USA
14:30 Identification and treatment of CD8 T cell dysfunction and symptoms in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and Long COVID in a retrospective case based study Anna Gil
PhD, UMass Chan Medical School, USA
14:45 Poster session (refreshments will be provided)
15:30 Networking session
– chaired by Karen Giménez Orenga, Catholic University of Valencia and Rik Haagmans, Quadram Institute UK
17:00 Adjourn -
Folllowed by post-workshop dinenr + social for registered delegates


Register for the Young EMERG conference using the link below. This is a ticket-only event and it is not possible to attend without having registration approved.

The workshop, arranged and funded by Invest in ME Research UK, is free for approved registrants, though you will need to cover the cost of your post-workshop evening meal, which will be partially subsidised by the charity.

Eligibility for registration requires current enrolment as a master’s, PhD or medical student, or post-doc, along with affiliation to a recognised research institute, university or hospital.

Unsure if you are eligible? Contact us to enquire using the link below.

In person registration deadline: cob 26 May 2024.

Virtual attendance registration deadline: cob 9 June 2024.

Abstract Submission / Poster Presentations

The deadline for abstract submission to be considered for an oral presentation has now passed. However, abstract submission for poster presentations remains open.

We strongly encourage all registered attendees to submit an abstract outlining their current research into ME, or related illnesses. Sharing your work through poster presentations is an excellent way to showcase your research. We believe that fostering mutual understanding of each other's research is crucial for strengthening the growing community of ME early career researchers.

Abstract deadline: 25 May 2024.

Guidelines on abstract submission can be found in the link below.


The conference will take place on the Wellcome Genome Campus at Hinxton Hall, between London and Cambridge. Hinxton Hall

Hinxton Hall Conference Centre is located on the Wellcome Genome Campus, alongside research institutions that are at the forefront of the genomics revolution. Hinxton Hall Conference Centre blends stunning contemporary architecture with state-of-the-art facilities, alongside a Grade II* listed country house, all set within a beautiful, rural 100 acre estate bordering the River Cam.

This location is near to Cambridge as well as a short drive from London Stansted airport.
There is also a direct link to London Stansted from central London.
This venue offers a number of advantages for assisting in our objectives of building collaboration and expanding knowledge.

Past Workshops

Past early career researcher workshops have been hosted in both the UK and US, by Invest in ME Research and NIH, respectively.

Past workshops can be viewed via the link below.


Young EMERG offers hope for building the future for research into myalgic encephalomyelitis.
The Young EMERG ECR events are arranged and funded by UK Charity Invest in ME Research, a founder member of the European ME Alliance, as part of their strategy to energise research into ME by building European networks for researchers, clinicians, patient groups and, now, early career researchers.
Support for this strategy is welcome and by sponsoring the workshop you will be providing encouragement for new researchers to enter the field and more awareness and knowledge of ME to be propagated.
The workshop initiates the International ME Conference Week - more details of the events are described in the Conference Week brochure. Contact us if interested in becoming a sponsor of the Young EMERG SPARK ME workshop and wish to discuss the opportunities.

COVID Policy

One of the reasons that we have again chosen this venue for our research and conference events was to allow more space within the conference venue.

Last Update May 2024