Prof Maria Fitzgerald is a neuroscientist who leads a research group at UCL on the basic developmental neurobiology of pain, and is an expert in the science of acute and chronic pain mechanisms.
Science is an incremental process. While much is made of “eureka” moments and “magic bullets” in the press, the vast majority of biomedical research is a step-by-step process. Each step in knowledge may seem small, but it contributes to a body of knowledge which eventually leads to a better understanding of medical problems. Our understanding of disease aetiology advances as evidence accumulates from multiple good studies.
MEGA is a new proposal which draws together the scientific expertise of a wide range of experienced biomedical scientists and points them all towards understanding the basis of chronic fatigue syndrome. In this way, the study is designed to make a larger step than usual and to gain the maximum biological knowledge from a defined group of patients with ME/CFS.
However, it will not be the end point, but the beginning. If it is successful, we can move to the next step and include a wider range of patients with more complex or severe symptoms. And so, step by step, study by study, we will transform the future for people with this horrible disease.