EMERG - Developing the foundations for European research into ME

A Vision of Research into ME in Europe

The European ME Research Group (EMERG) is a network of European ME researchers who formed to collaborate and share knowledge in research into myalgic encephalomyeltis (ME).

The group is creating a strategy of high-quality, coordinated biomedical research that will allow accumulation of data based on collaboration and sharing of experiences and knowledge, and will assist in expanding capacity of research leading to progress in developing a rapid pathway to discovering the cause(s) of, and treatment(s) for, ME.
In addition the group is creating the infrastructure for joint European research into ME.

Who is Involved

The building of new research and the accumulation of shared data based on collaboration and experiences allows rapid progress in the building of a base of European fundamental research into ME. The lack of funded and sustained biomedical research means that no one country has applied sufficient resources to perform research into ME.
By collaborating across Europe we can harness the best talents from the best institutions who are intent on working together as well as increase the capacity of research being undertaken.

Researchers from the major European institutes who conduct biomedical research into ME are involved in EMERG and the group collaborates with the clinicians in the European ME Clinicians Council (EMECC) and with European ME patient groups and charities within the European ME Alliance (EMEA) to provide a powerful combination of high-quality research, clinical expertise and patient participation.

EMERG History

The idea behind EMERG was formed in 2015 from an initiative by UK charity Invest in ME Research.
EMERG was intended to create a vision of collaborative research in Europe in order to increase biomedical research into myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).
It brought together the foremost European ME researchers, and others, in order to establish an understanding of the Aetiology, Pathogenesis and Epidemiology of ME.


Full EMERG Meeting in UK

EMERG is meeting at the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge, UK.
New members will be present.


Online meetings continue for EMERG throughout the year.
The #BRMEC11 Colloquium was chaired by EMERG members


EMERG Meeting in London

EMERG was reformed and a two day meeting was held in London in November 2019.
EMERG formed a steering group and working groups were set up to look into different areas (see governance).

The EMERG meeting overlapped with the European ME Clinicians Council (EMECC) meeting that followed.

EMERG will work with the clinicians in the European ME Clinicians Council (EMECC) and with European ME patient groups within the European ME Alliance (EMEA) to provide a powerful combination of campaigning, raising of awareness, building new research and accumulation of data based on collaboration and sharing of experiences and knowledge, which would allow rapid progress in developing and iplementing a strategy of high-quality research into ME.
By collaborating across Europe the best talents from the best institutions can be harnessed.


EMERG Steering Group meets

The EMERG steering group met in Amsterdam to plan strategy, assess status of working groups and discuss status of latest funding applications and collaborative project work.


Online meetings continued for EMERG throughout the year.
The #BRMEC12 Colloquium was chaired by EMERG members


Plans were made to reform EMERG and build a European infrastructure with clinicians and patients.

This strategy was created by UK charity Invest in ME Research with support from the European ME Alliance (EMEA).


Second EMERG meeting held

Prior to the 6th Biomedical Research into ME Colloquium in London researchers met again to discuss status.


Inaugural Meeting of EMERG.

Researchers were invited to the inaugural meeting in London to discuss forming collaborative research, joint funding bids and the creation of a European network of researchers.

EMERG Research

EMERG research areas are being identified within a strategy of planned research.

In EMERG the following research is already occurring or planned:-
In Denmark immunological and mitochondrial research is being performed
In Finland sleep and autonomic studies and genome wide studiesare being performed.
In Norway genetics research is being performed as well as metabolomics and a clinical trial. Prospective epidemiological studies are proposed.
In Spain there is research on cell and molecular biology and in Sweden research is in the areas of imaging and biomarker discovery.
In UK a research programme has been established to understand the links between ME and the population of microbes that colonise the gut. A planned clinical trial will transplant the microbiota from healthy donors into participants with ME. A Centre of Excellence for ME is firmly established and there is research into causes and mechanism of ME.
In Iceland infrastructure for ME research is being set up.
As part of the EMERG strategy joint research project between different members have been created and applications for funding have been made.

Read more on EMERG projects.

Recent/Upcoming Events

Involving EMERG

A summary of recent and planned events in which EMERG will participate.
These included workshops and conferences.
The expertise of EMERG members means that the group can be a powerful influence when research expertise is required to determine correct research strategy into ME is required in Europe.
Part of the remit of EMERG will be to provide a strategy of research for ME in order to uncover treatmens and c auses.

The European ME Research Group has formed Young EMERG - EMERGecr - a network of young or early career researchers for ME. A meeting will be held on 2 June in Cambridge, UK, with international delegates. Read more
European ME Research Group will meet in person for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic and welcomes two new members. Read more
#BRMEC12 - the twelfth International Biomedical Research into ME Colloquium - held in UK by UK charity Invest in ME Research - on 30th May to 1st June 2023 - with chairing and input from EMERG More details here.
#IIMEC15 - the fifteenth ME international conference in UK - on 2nd June 2023 at Hinxton Hall on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge - will be chaired by Professor Simon Carding, co-chair of EMERG More details here.
European ME Research Group Steering Group meeting 2020- More details soon

Frequent Asked Questions

A list below of common questions concerning myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and the European ME Research Group

ME stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is a multisystem, complex, acquired illness with symptoms related mainly to the dysfunction of the brain, gastro-intestinal, immune, endocrine and cardiac systems. ME has been classified as a neurological disorder in the World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases under Postviral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS) since 1969 (ICD 10 G93.3). Since 1992, the term "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" (CFS) has been included in the Alphabetical Index and indexed to G93.3
In WHO ICD 11 the classification code will be 8E49 Postviral fatigue syndrome and this includes Benign myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome

To date there is no known specific medical diagnostic test to determine or confirm a correct diagnosis nor is there any specific treatment for this condition.

Anyone can get ME. It is more common in women than in men. In children the ratio between boys and girls tends to be the same up until puberty after which time it is more common in girls than in boys. However, epidemiological data is lacking and further difficulties in assessing the research data is the use of at least five different criteria for research or diagnosis (CDC, Oxford, NICE, Canadian Consensus (GCC) and International Consensus Criteria (ICC)) all purporting to study patients with a diagnosis of ME, PVFS , ME/CFS or CFS. Further Information: click here

Estimates vary between 0.11% and 2.6% of the population depending on the criteria used. In the UK the most often cited prevalence figure is 0.4% or 200 000 to 250 000 people of which 25% are children.
See also meinEurope.shtml

Symptoms include overwhelming post-exertional fatigue from mental or physical activity; dysfunctional sleep; pain; problems with memory; sensitivity to light, touch and sound; problems with standing and balance; problems with body temperature and weight; and recurrent flu-like symptoms; that persist for at least six months in adults; or three months in children (Carruthers et al, 2003).

There have been several documented outbreaks of ME but evidence of person to person transmission is lacking. ME is more common in some families pointing to a genetic component but there is no evidence of ME being inherited as such.

Currently there is no cure for ME. Treatment is based on managing the condition and providing symptom relief. Advances in treating and understanding ME are made every year, and progress in research to find a cure or effective treatments is very encouraging.

There are no MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) or FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved drugs to treat ME yet. Treatment is based on managing symptoms and avoiding over-exertion. Patients find pacing mental and physical activities most beneficial. Drugs such as Ampligen and Rituxan have been trialled but they have not proven to be successful.


Please use the form below to contact us

Success! Your message has been sent to us.
Error! There was an error sending your message.

Comments on EMERG