Faculty of Medical Sciences

Fatigue Research

Newcastle Centre for Fatigue Research

Working in partnership across health services, industry and academia to address fatigue in chronic diseases.

Newcastle has an existing and important reputation in understanding biological mechanisms that underpin fatigue. The strategic aim of the Newcastle Centre for Fatigue Research (NCFR) is to raise the profile of fatigue research in Newcastle and to be a national focus for fatigue research working in partnership. The NCFR provides an environment where scientists from across the University and from Faculty Institutes can develop partnerships with clinicians, researchers & industry to address clinical chronic disease problems.

Our research aims are to:

  • Develop trials of therapeutic agents that will improve quality of life in those who experience the symptom of fatigue.
  • Undertake multi-disciplinary world-class laboratory research to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underpin the development of fatigue in chronic diseases and to translate these for clinical impact.
  • Bring together a multi-disciplinary critical mass of world-class research in clinical, community and service settings that develop and evaluate clinical strategies to improve general health in those with fatigue-associated chronic disease.
  • Explore opportunities in which the unique environment of fatigue science can inform a much wider health research agenda including increased representation in grant funding bodies.

Research excellence can be measured in terms of its impact on patients, populations or policy. There is also scope with a focus of fatigue research excellence to catalyse links with industry with the aim of creating a positive impact for the health of patients and the wider population. The existing programme of fatigue research in Newcastle can demonstrate clear and measurable evidence of impact and a commitment to research. This has affected society locally, nationally and globally.

Examples of this include:

  • Recent publications that have advanced our understanding of the complex relationships between muscle function and fatigue. This is changing the way clinicians and patients think about fatigue and chronic disease. It has led to work with patient groups to develop advice about activity management and begun to change perceptions of the underlying causes of fatigue.
  • Contributions to clinical guidelines, specifically in the area of fatigue management eg SIGN guidelines and DWP.
  • Memberships of several government and international advisory bodies on fatigue research e.g. currently the Director of the URC is an inaugural member of the UK CFS Research Collaborative, Board member of the International CFS/ME Association, Medical Advisor for ME Research UK and POTS UK. Patron of ME North East.
  • Development of expertise in the delivery of clinical trials in fatigue with a currently funded NIHR EME.

Links for further information:


Professor Julia Newton
Director of Newcastle Centre for Fatigue Research