Scientific Peer Review of Research Applications for the Department of Defense

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Kidney Cancer advocate Sarah Wise Miller, recently participated in the evaluation of research proposals submitted to the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) sponsored by the Department of Defense.

Kidney Cancer advocate Sarah Wise Miller, recently participated in the evaluation of research proposals submitted to the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) sponsored by the Department of Defense. Ms. Miller was nominated for participation in the peer review process by The Kidney Cancer Association, Evanston, Illinois. As a consumer reviewer, she was a full voting member of the scientific peer review panel, along with prominent scientists and clinicians. The Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) PRMRP received a $50 million congressional appropriation to fund research across 19 topic areas including Kidney Cancer.

Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of their community including survivors and patients, family members, and persons at risk for the disease. Specifically, they are asked to score and comment on the potential impact of the proposed study on issues such as disease prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life after treatment. Sarah Wise Miller was one of 65 consumer advocates who participated in the scientific peer review of applications submitted to the FY09 PRMRP and participated in the review of each research application on the panel. Commenting on her role as a consumer reviewer, Ms. Miller said that "the experience was one of the most exhilarating and rewarding I have ever engaged in. It was exhausting, yet I learned a tremendous amount and felt that I was really able to contribute a lot to the process. There is so much to be done in the fight against kidney cancer and I am glad to have had the opportunity to participate in a meaningful way."

Consumer advocates and scientists have worked together in this unique partnership to evaluate the scientific merit of research proposals submitted to the various programs managed through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) since 1995. Captain E. Melissa Kaime, M.D., Director of the CDMRP, expressed her appreciation for the consumer advocates' perspective in the scientific peer review sessions. "The Consumer Reviewers on each panel helped the scientists understand the patient's perspective and provided valuable insight into the potential impact of the proposed project. Likewise, these important members of the peer review panels have been enriched by learning more about the scientific process through discussing proposals with the other peer review panel members and seeing the future possibilities of successful research outcomes."

The FY09 PRMRP challenged the scientific and clinical communities to address one of the FY09 congressionally-directed topic areas with original ideas that foster new directions in basic science and translational research; novel product development leading to improved therapeutic or diagnostic tools, or improvements in clinical policies/guidelines; or clinical trials that address an immediate clinical need. This program sought applications in laboratory, clinical, behavioral, and epidemiologic research as well as public health and policy; environmental sciences; nursing; occupational health; alternative therapies; ethics; economics; and strategic research, such as studies designed to shape the development of or to validate clinical policy or guidance.

More information about the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program is available at the Website:

The Kidney Cancer Association (KCA) is a charitable organization made up of patients, family members, physicians, researchers, and other health professionals globally. We fund, promote, and collaborate with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Urological Association (AUA), and other institutions on research projects. We educate families and physicians, and serve as an advocate on behalf of patients at the state and federal levels.

The Association was founded in 1990 by a small group of patients, including Eugene P. Schonfeld, Ph.D., and medical doctors in Chicago, Illinois. It is a nonprofit charity incorporated in the State of Illinois. It has also been designated as a tax exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service code. Donations to the Association are tax deductible. Our Federal taxpayer identification number is 36-3719712.

Media Contact:
Gail Whitehead, Public Affairs, 301-619-7783


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Carolyn E. Konosky
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