CureSearch Leader Participates in Scientific Peer-Review of Research Applications for the Department of Defense

August 1, 2009 (Washington, DC) - Carolyn Brokowski, a CureSearch childhood cancer survivor and advocate for childhood cancer research, recently participated in the evaluation of research proposals submitted to the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) sponsored by the Department of Defense. An eight-year cancer survivor, Brokowski was a consumer reviewer, and a full voting member of two panels---the Clinical Trials Cancer Panel and the Pediatric Oncology Panel. The Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) PRMRP received a $50 million congressional appropriation to fund research across 19 topic areas including pediatric  cancer.

Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of their community including survivors and patients, family members, and persons at risk for the disease.  Specifically, they are asked to score and comment on the potential impact of the proposed study on issues such as disease prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life after treatment.

“It was such an honor to be nominated by CureSearch and an even greater honor to be able to participate on the panel,” said Brokowski. She is uniquely qualified for this role as a childhood cancer survivor of high-risk T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and   Yale University graduate with a concentration in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Philosophy. Currently, she is working in a Yale Medical School lab while applying to MD/PhD programs. She is the submissions co-chair of the Yale Journal of Ethics, Health Policy, & Law at Yale Law School.

Since 1995, consumer advocates and scientists have worked together in this unique partnership to evaluate the scientific merit of research proposals submitted to the various programs managed through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP). 

 “The Consumer Reviewers on each panel helped the scientists understand the patient’s perspective and provided valuable insight into the potential impact of the proposed project,” said Captain E. Melissa Kalme, MD, Director of the CDMRP. “Likewise, the members of the peer review panels have been enriched by learning more about the scientific process through discussing proposals with the other peer review panel members and seeing the future possibilities of successful research outcomes.”

About the FY09 PRMRP 

The FY09 PRMRP challenged the scientific and clinical communities to address one of the FY09 congressionally-directed topic areas with original ideas that foster new directions in basic science and translational research; novel product development leading to improved therapeutic or diagnostic tools, or improvements in clinical policies/guidelines; or clinical trials that address an immediate clinical need. This program sought applications in laboratory, clinical, behavioral, and epidemiologic research as well as public health and policy; environmental sciences; nursing; occupational health; alternative therapies; ethics; economics; and strategic research, such as studies designed to shape the development of or to validate clinical policy or guidance. For more information about the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program og onto

About CureSearch 

CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation exclusively supports the work of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the world’s largest cooperative cancer research organization, that treats approximately 90 percent of all children with cancer, at more than 200 leading children’s and university hospitals and Cancer Centers in the U.S. Together, we are committed to conquering childhood cancer through scientific discovery and compassionate care. For more information, visit:


Christine Bork
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