RIS Community Member Participates in Scientific Peer Review Panels

Charlie Gerk with wife and RIS volunteer, Danielle Gerk

Sarcoma survivor and RIS volunteer Charlie Gerk recently participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).

Charlie was nominated for participation in the program by Rein in Sarcoma. As a consumer reviewer, he was a full voting member, (along with prominent scientists) at meetings to help determine how the $110 million appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year 2020 will be spent on cancer research.

About the PRCRP program

Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of patients by preparing comments on the impact of the research on issues such as diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life. When commenting on serving as a consumer reviewer, Charlie said that, “he was heartened to know so many dedicated people are working hard on cures for sarcoma”.

Consumer advocates and scientists have worked together in this unique partnership to evaluate the merit of research applications since FY09. COL Sarah B. Goldman, Director of the CDMRP, expressed her appreciation for the consumer advocates’ hard work. “Integrating consumer perspectives into our decision-making process brings energy and focus to our research programs. Patients, caregivers, family members, and advocates help us keep our efforts centered around what is truly important to those impacted. We very much value this critical input from our consumers who help ensure that CDMRP’s work remains critical and relevant,” she said.

Scientists applying propose to support and promote high-impact research for cancer prevention, detection, treatment, quality of life and survivorship, and decreasing the burden of cancer on Service members, their families and the American public. The PRCRP fills important gaps not addressed by other funding agencies by supporting groundbreaking research while encouraging out-of-the-box thinking.

More information about PRCRP is available at their website: https://cdmrp.army.mil/prcrp/default.

If you are interested in learning more about participating in the CDMRP’s Scientific Peer Review Panels, please contact Janelle Calhoun, Rein in Sarcoma’s Executive Director at (763) 205-1467 or execdirector@reininsarcoma.org.