Those of you monitor ME news online may have seen this already but I’m pleased to tell you that the ME Association and Action for ME have persuaded Professor Ian Lipkin to speak at a special event in London while he is over here. Prof Lipkin, who is the John Snow Professor of Epidemiology, Professor of Neurology and Pathology at Columbia University, New York, has been funded by the M.E. community to present to researchers at the CMRC conference in Bristol on 1 and 2 September. This is a great opportunity for members who are able to travel to central London to hear a world leading scientist talk about what he is doing to find the cause of ME, something to which he has publically committed himself (more information on him below). Professor Lipkin is the person the US government turned to to adjudicate the XMRV controversy two years ago. I hope you can come along.
The seminar, which is being held jointly by Action for M.E. and the ME Association in London on Wednesday 3 September, will take place from 10am to noon at the offices of Allen & Overy, at One Bishops Square, London E1 6AD and is open to anyone interested to hear about Prof Lipkin’s work focused on infection and M.E.
To attend you have to register beforehand online here https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/lipkinseminar Alternatively those without internet access or who find it difficult can call Action for ME on 0117 927 9551. Tickets cost £5 per person to contribute towards the cost of the event and include refreshments (tea, coffee, biscuits – incl. dairy/gluten-free – and fruit) between 9.30 and 10am.
Dr Charles Shepherd, medical advisor to the ME Association said, “This is a unique opportunity for people to come and listen to one of the world’s leading experts in virology speak about the role of infection in M.E./CFS. Many thanks to everyone who donated to the appeal to bring Professor Lipkin to speak at both the UK Research Collaborative (CMRC) conference in Bristol and now at this extra meeting in London.”
Sonya Chowdhury, Chief Executive of Action for M.E. said, “I am absolutely delighted and thrilled that Prof Lipkin is able to be our guest speaker. This is a fabulous opportunity to hear an internationally-renowned physician and scientist, now working in the field of M.E./CFS, at first hand. It promises to be a fascinating event.”
More information on Professor Lipkin
W. Ian Lipkin, M.D., is internationally recognized as an authority on the use of molecular methods for pathogen discovery and the role of infection in neurologic and neuropsychiatric diseases.
Dr. Lipkin has over 30 years of experience in diagnostics, microbial discovery and outbreak response. He has mentored and trained over 30 students and post-doctoral fellows and leads a workforce of over 65 principal investigators, post-doctoral fellows and research and support staff with expertise in sample and database management, bioinformatics, biostatistics, diagnostics, molecular biology, experimental pathology, serology, culture, animal models, and staged strategies for efficient pathogen discovery and proof of causation.
In the 1980s, Dr. Lipkin identified AIDS-associated immunological abnormalities and inflammatory neuropathy, which he showed could be treated with plasmapheresis, and demonstrated that early life exposure to viral infections affects neurotransmitter function. Dr. Lipkin was the first to use purely molecular methods to identify infectious agents. In 1999, he identified West Nile virus as the cause of encephalitis in North America. He developed MassTag PCR and Greenechip technology, two multiplex assays that have been used to identify and characterize more than 400 viruses, and was the first to use high throughput sequencing for pathogen discovery. In 2003, Dr. Lipkin established the Norwegian Autism Birth Cohort (ABC), the largest prospective birth cohort devoted to investigating gene-environment-timing interactions and biomarker discovery. In 2012 Dr. Lipkin led a study in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and six other sites across the country to test the association between XMRV and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Dr Lipkin is currently raising funds for an additional project, the Microbe Discovery Project. As he says ““I think that the microbiome is going to be where the action is in ME/CFS… I am really eager to pursue that work.”