Sheila Wright Participates in OCRP

October 17, 2014

HERA Board Member Helps Determine Ovarian Cancer Research Funding

Sheila Wright participates in OCRP to determine future ovarian cancer research funding

DENVER – October 17, 2014 – Ovarian cancer advocate and HERA Board member, Sheila Phelan Wright, PhD, recently participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP) sponsored by the Department of Defense. Sheila was nominated for participation in the program by HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation.  As a consumer reviewer, she was a full voting member, along with prominent scientists, at meetings to help determine how the $20M appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) will be spent on future ovarian cancer research.

Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of individuals with ovarian cancer and patients, family members, and women at risk for the disease when they prepare comments on the impact of the research on issues such as prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life after treatment. Commenting on serving as a consumer reviewer, Dr. Wright said that This was an extremely rewarding experience. I learned a great deal in the process and feel honored to have participated.”

Consumer advocates and scientists have worked together in this unique partnership to evaluate the scientific merit of ovarian cancer research applications since 1997. To date, more than 85 consumer reviewers have served on ovarian cancer panels alongside scientists in the review process. 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 to conduct innovative ovarian cancer research aimed at minimizing the effect and elimination of ovarian cancer. The OCRP 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 Ovarian Cancer Research Program is available at the Website:

Media Contact: Gail Whitehead, Public Affairs, 301-619-7783

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