Class of 1972
For Immediate Release: December 7 2008
SCIENTIFIC PEER REVIEW OF GULF WAR ILLNESS RESEARCH PROPOSALS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Gulf War Illness advocate Roy Bandle recently participated in the evaluation of research proposals submitted to the Gulf War Illness Research Program (GWIRP) sponsored by the Department of Defense. Roy Bandle was nominated for participation in the program by the Veterans Administration in Portland. As a consumer reviewer, he was a full voting member, along with prominent scientists, at meetings to determine how Congress’ FY08 appropriation of $10 million will be spent on future Gulf War Illness research.
Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of persons living with Gulf War Illness and family members, and persons at risk for the disorder, 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. Roy Bandle was one of 3 consumer advocates who participated in the December 2008 peer review meetings and provided comments and scores for research proposals. Commenting on his/her role as a consumer reviewer, Roy Bandle said that “My participation as a consumer in this peer review panel was a very enlightening experience. It has given me insight into the enormous energy and creativity that exists in the research community, it showed me the seriousness of the selection process to maximize the outcome from limited funds, and it gave me a chance to help the scientists remain close to the main concerns of those affected by the disease.”
Consumer advocates and scientists have worked together in this unique partnership to evaluate the scientific merit of Gulf War Illness research proposals since 2006. To date, 6 consumer reviewers have served on Gulf War Illness panels alongside scientists in the review process. Captain E. Melissa Kaime, M.D., Director of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, expressed her appreciation for the consumer advocates’ perspective in the scientific review sessions. “They have provided valuable insight into funding decisions and helped the scientists understand the consumers’ perspective of innovative research. Likewise, the consumer advocates have been enriched by learning more about Gulf War Illness through discussing proposed research with scientists and seeing the future hopes of successful research.”
More than 30 Gulf War Illness research proposals will be reviewed for FY08 funds. Scientists applying propose to conduct innovative Gulf War Illness research aimed at the elimination of the illness. Proposals were solicited across all disciplines, including basic, clinical, social, and psychosocial sciences, as well as public health, economics, quality of life, alternative therapies, occupational health, nursing research, and environmental concerns.
More information about the Department of Defense Gulf War Illness Research Program is available at the Website: http://cdmrp.army.mil.
Media Contact: Gail Whitehead, Public Affairs, 301-619-7783
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