BEAVERCREEK — Multiple sclerosis advocate Laura Kolaczkowski of Beavercreek recently participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the Multiple Sclerosis Research Program (MSRP) sponsored by the Department of Defense. She was nominated for participation in the program by The Accelerated Cure Project and iConquerMS, Boston, MA. As a consumer reviewer, she was a full voting member, along with prominent scientists, at meetings to help determine how the $6M appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) will be spent on future multiple sclerosis research.
Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of those living with multiple sclerosis including patients, family members, and persons at risk for the disease when they prepare comments on the impact of the research to prevent, cure, reverse, or slow progression, and lessen the impact of multiple sclerosis.
Commenting on serving as a consumer reviewer, Kolaczkowski said, “We often wonder where the next break in MS research will come from and by participating in this review process it gave me that rare glimpse into the research arena where ideas are first formulated and weighed for their value by their peers. It’s exciting to see the quest for the next break in multiple sclerosis care at this basic level and be a part of the process as a consumer reviewer to move forward the best of these ideas for further development.”
Consumer advocates and scientists have worked together in this unique partnership to evaluate the scientific merit of multiple sclerosis research applications since 2009. 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.”
Scientists applying propose pioneering concepts and high impact research aimed at minimizing the effect and curing multiple sclerosis. The MSRP 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 Multiple Sclerosis Research Program is available at www.cdmrp.army.mil.
Story courtesy of the Department of Defense.