Jan. 02, 2014

President and CEO acts as the Voice of the Patients in Department of Defense Review Program

Re: Consumer Participation on Scientific Peer Review Panels

For Immediate Press Release:


Lupus advocate Suzanne Tierney recently participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) sponsored by the Department of Defense. Tierney was nominated for participation in the program by the Lupus Foundation of America, Greater Ohio Chapter. As a consumer reviewer, she was a full voting member, along with prominent scientists, during a review to help determine how the $50 million appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) will be spent on future lupus research.

Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of lupus survivors and patients, family members, and persons at risk for the disease when they prepare comments on the impact of the research on issues such as disease prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life after treatment.

Commenting on serving as a consumer reviewer, Tierney said “It was an honor to be the voice of lupus patients across the country. The review process was an eye-opening experience, highlighting the complexity of the disease. I hope my role in this program will help as we continue to work to bring down barriers as we fight for a world without lupus.”

Consumer advocates and scientists have worked together in this unique partnership to evaluate the scientific merit of PRMRP research applications beginning in 1999. For Fy13, thirty-five consumer reviewers served on PRMRP panels along with scientists in the review process. Colonel Wanda L. Salzer, M.D., Director of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs expressed her appreciation for the perspectives of the consumer advocates in the scientific review sessions. “The Consumer Reviewers on each panel are instrumental in helping the scientists understand the patient’s perspective and provide valuable insight into the potential impact of the proposed project.  They bring with them a sense of urgency and remind all of the human element involved in medical research.”

During this peer review session, there were approximately 270 PRMRP research applications reviewed for 2013 fiscal year funds. Scientists applying propose to conduct innovative lupus research aimed at the elimination of lupus. The PRMRP fills important gaps not addressed by other funding agencies by supporting groundbreaking, high-risk, high-gain research while encouraging out-of-the-box thinking.

More information about the Department of Defense Lupus Research Program is available at the Website: http://cdmrp.army.mil


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