Department of Defense Medical Research Program

The Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation (CCF) is pleased to announce a new research funding opportunity as a result of CCF's federal advocacy work. The Department of Defense is now accepting research applications on pediatric cardiomyopathy through their Peer Review Medical Research Program (PRMRP) under the Congenital Heart Disease research area.

Established in 1999, the Department of Defense PRMRP supports biomedical research through congressionally approved research areas. The goal of the PRMRP is to fund studies that can improve the health and well-being of military personnel and their families, with the potential to benefit all Americans. This year, Congress appropriated $300 million to fund biomedical research topics under the PRMRP. The PRMRP is more flexible than other peer-reviewed medical research programs, and as a result the PRMRP can fund more innovative, high-risk/high-return research studies. There are five award mechanisms within the PRMRP, which are listed below:

  • Clinical Trial Award
  • Discovery Award
  • Focused Program Award
  • Investigator-Initiated Research Award
  • Technology/Therapeutic Development Award

Preproposal deadlines vary by award mechanism, and submission deadlines range from July 13 to July 20, 2017.

View the Program Announcement

The grant application will ask investigators to explain how heritable cardiomyopathy is relevant to the military. Any individual with cardiomyopathy who is served by the military health system fulfills the military relevance requirement. This includes military service members, veterans, and their spouses and children.

Despite significant pre-enlistment screenings and health assessment protocols, many military personnel have a potentially fatal cardiovascular condition. According to a 2011 retrospective study of sudden death in the military [1], cardiomyopathy is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in military personnel. The study found that of all uniformed personnel deaths between 1998 and 2008, nearly 1,000 were caused by sudden cardiac death. Cardiomyopathy is listed as an underlying condition in many of these unexpected deaths.

By investing in research in this area, the U.S. Department of Defense can identify new genetic mutations and biomarkers associated with sudden cardiac death, improve screening procedures for military recruits, and ultimately save more lives.

[1] Eckart RE Shry EA Burke AP McNear JA Appel DA Castillo-Rojas LM Avedissian L Pearse LA Potter RN Tremaine L Gentlesk PJ Huffer L Reich SS Stevenson WG. Sudden death in young adults: an autopsy-based series of a population undergoing active surveillance. J Am Coll Cardiol 2011;58:1254-1261.