According to a recent press release on mesothelioma research, the Department of Defense (DoD) Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program was appropriated $50 million in the Defense Appropriations Bill that the President signed in mid-November.
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) is excited to announce that, for the first time, mesothelioma will be included as a research priority within the DoD's Medical Research Program, to begin February 2008. As a candidate research area within the program, mesothelioma investigators are eligible to compete for funding through the program's 2008 grant cycle.
"The Meso Foundation has been working with fifteen senators, led bySenator Max Baucus (D-MT), advocating the federal government to respond to the mesothelioma crisis through a commitment of new federal research dollars," said Chris Hahn, Executive Director of The Meso Foundation. "Our advocacy efforts in this area for the past several years finally paid off."
Federal medical research projects must be of clear scientific merit and have direct relevance to military health. Military relevance is a key feature of the Investigator-Initiated award, a connection that will not be difficult for mesothelioma researchers to establish for their grant applications.
There is a long history of asbestos exposure in military service, and a significant elevated risk of mesothelioma in the military population. In fact, approximately one third of mesothelioma cases have been shown to involve Navy and shipyard exposures. Given the long latency of the disease, even if exposures are reduced, mesothelioma will continue to affect the veteran and military population for decades to come.
This funding opportunity can serve as a vital resource to the mesocommunity and is another crucial step toward advancing the research andtreatment of mesothelioma. The Meso Foundation strongly encouragesmesothelioma investigators to consider submitting applications for fundingin 2008, as the interest and engagement shown by the community will likelybe a factor in whether mesothelioma is included as a candidate in future years.