The Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) research advocate Jill Heidi Osborne MA recently participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the PRMRP sponsored by the US Department of Defense. Ms. Osborne has served as a consumer reviewer for the past six years. As a consumer reviewer, she was a full voting member (along with prominent scientists) at meetings to help determine how the $300 million appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year 2017 will be spent on PRMRP research covering 48 topic areas.

Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of patients and family members 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 for this years panel, Ms. Osborne said that, “I’ve had the honor of representing the interstitial cystitis patient community for several years. This year, I had the opportunity to join the antibiotic resistance review panel. Drug resistant infections represent a growing threat to public health. We must learn more about how drug resistance and bacterial biofilms develop and, of course, how to defeat these infections. The 20+ research studies reviewed just a few weeks ago were incredibly promising. The researchers have a passion for their work and for easing the suffering of those who are struggling with multiple drug resistant (MDR) infections. Their research will lead to better treatment for military personnel who return with battlefield injuries, those struck by nosocomial infections and the community at large.”

Consumer advocates and scientists have worked together in this unique partnership to evaluate the scientific merit of research applications. Colonel Wanda L. Salzer, M.D., Director of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs expressed her appreciation for the consumer advocates perspective during 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 us all, of the human element involved in medical research.”

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 PRMRP is available at the Website: