Three Mesothelioma Patients Chosen as Reviewers for Federal Program for Research Funding

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The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation announced that three mesothelioma patients have been chosen to participate in the Department of Defense (DoD) peer-review research funding process as consumer reviewers. Their participation ensures that the needs of those directly affected by mesothelioma are recognized, acknowledged and considered when deciding which research to fund.

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Logo

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Logo

It’s my goal to see my generation be the last one to hear there are no treatments for your disease

Julie Gundlach, David Lerman and Rich Mosca were nominated by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation), and accepted through the Department of Defense (DoD) application process, to serve as project reviewers in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP). The CDMRP is a DoD program that annually distributes research funding for certain diseases that disproportionately affect veterans. The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation reports to have successfully advocated the inclusion of mesothelioma as an eligible disease in the CDMRP through the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program, which has resulted in the largest federal investment in mesothelioma research so far. A total of $5.1 million has been awarded to mesothelioma research through the CDMRP.

Mesothelioma currently has only one FDA approved treatment, making the need for research dire. Mr. Mosca, Ms. Gundlach, and Mr. Lerman are graciously donating their time to speak for mes patients everywhere and ensure that the most promising research is funded. “As a meso patient, I know firsthand what if feels like to have very little or no hope when it comes to current treatments,” said reviewer Rich Mosca. “It’s my goal to see my generation be the last one to hear there are no treatments for your disease, especially one that is considered environmental. We owe that to our children and grandchildren.”

The consumer perspective complements the scientific expertise of researchers and ensures that the voice of those who are directly affected by mesothelioma is heard. PRCRP Consumer Reviewers read and evaluate research grant applications for relevance to the consumer community's needs and concerns and actively participate in peer review panel discussions with physicians and researchers. This invaluable opportunity allows them to participate as full members of the review panel, with full voting member status.

The Meso Foundation is the leading organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma as a life-ending cancer by funding peer-reviewed mesothelioma research, providing patient support services and education, and advocating Congress for increased federal funding for research. Mesothelioma funding, per death, has historically been extremely low, and even as recently as 2007, the NCI reported that mesothelioma receives as little as 9 times less funding than other cancers. The Meso Foundation was founded in 2000 to address this imbalance and since then has independently funded over $7.1 million in peer-reviewed mesothelioma research. More information is available at


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