Published March 19, 2020. Written by Chris Rusconi, Chief Research Officer. Seven research grants with a primary focus on polycystic kidney disease totaling more than $12 million were funded in the fiscal year 2019 grant cycle by the Department of Defense’s Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PMRMP) under the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP). One additional grant with a secondary focus on PKD was funded for more than $2.8 million. In 1992, Congress directed the Department of Defense (DoD) to facilitate new approaches to biomedical research in response to the current needs of the military personnel, their families and the American public. To fulfill this congressional ask, the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) was established. The CDMRP’s primary purpose is to fill the gaps in research funding by supporting high risk, high impact research projects that that may lead to cures or significant breakthroughs. The DoD medical research programs have been a central component to the Foundation’s advocacy efforts in the following ways:
- DoD medical research grants have resulted in more than $34.4 million in PKD-specific research funding since 2014.
- PKD has been an included topic area in these programs for most of the last 12 years, and we must advocate for our continued inclusion every year.
- Over the last couple of weeks, hundreds of advocates in the PKD community urged Congress to support the establishment of a dedicated PKD research program.
As the largest private funder of PKD research, we believe it is part of our mission to provide PKD researchers the start-up funds necessary to bridge a novel idea to preliminary data, which allows researchers to submit applications for sizable federal grants. Many of the researchers funded through the PRMRP were once funded by the PKD Foundation in the early stages of their research. As the PKD Foundation gets closer to achieving its vision of ending PKD, it is up to us to make sure that researchers have every available resource to pursue innovative breakthroughs on the cutting edge of medicine. Together, let’s congratulate the researchers who have received funding through the fiscal year 2019 PRMRP grant mechanism. Terry Watnick, MD Joan B. and John H. Sadler Professor in Nephrology; Director, Baltimore Polycystic Kidney Disease Research and Clinical Core Center University of Maryland School of Medicine Feng Qian, Dr. Associate Professor University of Maryland School of Medicine Stefan Somlo, MD N. H. Long Professor of Medicine (Nephrology) and Professor of Genetics; Chief, Section of Nephrology Yale School of Medicine Peter Harris, Ph.D Professor, Division of Nephrology & Hypertension, Department of Internal Medicine Mayo Clinic