Sir Stephen Holgate

Professor Sir Stephen Holgate 

Professor Sir Stephen Holgate, knighted in the 2020 Honours list for his services to medical research, is the Chair of the UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative, Medical Research Council Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology and Honorary Consultant Physician within Medicine at the University of Southampton (England). His stated aim for the Collaborative is to find and develop a “dream team” of researchers to work on this highly complex illness which he believes could have twelve to fifteen different “causal pathways“.

Sir Stephen has devoted much of his 40-year career to focusing on the interface between basic sciences and clinical application in the fields of allergy and asthma. He is one of the world’s foremost spokespeople on air pollution, is Government Advisor and one of the co-founders of Synairgen. Which is a University of Southampton spin-out company that has developed inhaled Interferon Beta, effective against viral respiratory diseases, including Covid-19 – which he describes as “a multi-system disorder which is described by people who experience it as being “taken off their feet” and going from one day to the other not knowing whether they are going to be able to do anything that they normally do; and this may last days, weeks or months. There are now 16 different symptoms from Long Covid, including particular features that have with CFS/ME commonality which can occur after viral infections, so we’ve got a lot to learn about this”.

Arthur Willoughby

Professor Arthur F Willoughby 

Arthur Willoughby graduated with BSc (Eng) (1st Class) in Metallurgy from Imperial College in 1961, and was awarded the Bessemer Medal and Charles Salter Prize, and after a period at AECL, Chalk River, Canada, obtained a PhD from Imperial College in 1965, and was awarded the Matthey Prize. He was subsequently elected to FIM and CEng. Appointed to an ICI Fellowship at the University of Southampton in 1965, he subsequently joined the academic staff, and was promoted to a Personal Chair in Electronic Materials in 1983. He was Head of Engineering Materials for 10 years, and Deputy Dean of the Faculty, as well as a member of the University Management Group. He was the Director of the MEng Courses across the Faculty.

Dr James Robertson

James Robertson has served as a consultant physician in rheumatology and rehabilitation. He has helped in the setting up of the Southampton Professorial Unit in Rehabilitation, the first such post in the UK.

He has a biomechanical interest in physical lifestyle as a major and critical component in the prolongation of active life and strongly endorses the current trend for engineering good lifestyles in an ergonomic way which formed part of his approach to Fibromyalgia , managing chronic pain and sleep disturbance.

Dr James Robertson was consultant in rheumatology and rehabilitation at Salisbury District Hospital and he retired after more than 30 years’ service in the NHS.

It was Dr James Robertson’s expertise and knowledge relating to Fibromyalgia that led to the formation of the South Wilts Fibromyalgia Society in the early 2000’s and, although now retired from NHS work, Dr Robertson continues as the society’s honorary president.

Dr James Robertson was also honoured in the March of his retirement while attending a meeting of the South Wilts Fibromyalgia Society, when, after giving a talk on the definition and history of pain, he was presented with a pair of binoculars.