Gulf war research strategic plan



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powerpluswatermarkobject7724392DRAFT Gulf War Research Strategic Plan 2011-2015

DRAFT

GULF WAR RESEARCH STRATEGIC PLAN

2011-2015

Version of June 21, 2011 for RACGWVI





TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 4

2.0 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 6

2.1 The 1990-1991 Gulf War and the Nation’s Response to the Need for Research 6

2.2 Gulf War Research Strategic Plan 2011-2015 7

2.3 VA Research and Development Strategic Plan: 2009-2014 7

3.0 EVOLUTION OF THE GULF WAR RESEARCH STRATEGIC PLAN 9

4.0 SUMMARY OF GULF WAR RESEARCH RESULTS AND PAST FEDERAL RESEARCH SUPPORT 13

4.1 Summary of Gulf War Research Results 1993-2011 13

4.1.1 “A Working Plan for Research on Persian Gulf Veterans’ Illnesses” 1995-96: The Twenty-One Research Questions 15

4.2 Summary of Federal Funding of Gulf War Research 1994-2010 23

5.0 GULF WAR RESEARCH STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES 2011-2015 24

5.1 CONDUCT RESEARCH TO ENABLE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW GULF WAR CASE DEFINITIONS 25

5.1.1 Objective 25

5.1.2 IOM Recommendations 25

5.1.3 RACGWVI Recommendations 25

5.1.4 ORD Research 25

5.1.5 Research Plans and Funding Mechanisms 26

5.2 GENETICS/GENOMICS 26

5.2.1 Objective 26

5.2.2 IOM Recommendations 27

5.2.3 RACGWVI Recommendations 27

5.2.4 ORD Research 27

5.2.5 Research Plans and Funding Mechanisms 28

5.3 BIOMARKERS 29

5.3.1 Objective 29

5.3.2 IOM Recommendations 29

5.3.3 RACGWVI Recommendations 30

5.3.4 ORD Research 30

5.3.5 Research Plans 31

5.4 SYMPTOMATIC AND SPECIFIC TREATMENTS 31

5.4.1 Objective 31

5.4.2 IOM Recommendations 31

5.4.3 RACGWVI Recommendations 31

5.4.4 ORD Research 31

5.4.5 Research Plans and Funding Mechanisms 32

5.5 IMPROVE COORDINATION AND COMMUNICATION WITH FEDERAL PARTNERS, RESEARCHERS, AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR 33

5.5.1 Objective 33

5.5.2. Inter-Governmental Coordination Efforts 34

5.5.2.1 Office of Research and Development (ORD) 34

5.5.2.2 Office of Public Health (OPH). 34

5.5.2.3 DOD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) 34

5.5.2.4 Deployment Health Working Group (DHWG) 35

5.5.2.5 Veterans Service Organizations 35

5.5.3 ORD Coordination Efforts Among Researchers 35

5.5.4 Research and Action Plans 35

5.6 TRANSLATE RESEARCH FINDINGS TO PRACTICE 36

5.6.1 Objective 36

5.6.2 Research and Activities 36

5.6.3 Research and Action Plans - Funding Mechanisms 37

5.7 ANIMAL MODELS 38

5.7.1 Objective 38

5.7.2 IOM Recommendations 38

5.7.3 RACGWVI Recommendations 38

5.7.4 ORD Research 38

5.7.5 Research Plans and Funding Mechanisms 38

6.0 CONCLUSIONS 40

Appendix: Bibliography 41



1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


The first "Working Plan" for Research on Persian Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses was published in 1995 by the Persian Gulf Veterans Coordinating Board (PGVCB), some 17 years ago, and was revised and updated in 1996. The responsibility for coordinating Gulf War research passed through a number of various federal boards, committees, and such, over the ensuing years following the PGVCB. Today’s Deployment Health Working Group is the successor to the PGVCB.

Since the original “Working Plan” was published in 1995-96, a number of other commissions, advisory councils, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the Research Advisory Committee for Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses (RACGWVI), and others, have made significant contributions both monitoring, assessing, and making recommendations helpful to the ongoing work of planning and coordinating Gulf War Research across the federal government. The IOM has produced an extensive series of independent reports which chronicle and assess the results of Gulf War Research. The Research Advisory Committee for Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses (RACGWVI) has also prepared extensive reports giving its independent assessment of the results of Gulf War Research.

In 2011, the VA Office of Research and Development undertook the task of preparing the first Strategic Plan for Gulf War Research. This was because substantial advances have been made across the board in medical and scientific research since the first Gulf War “Working Plan” was put forward in 1995-96. These include mapping the human genome, advances in medical imaging, and advances in medical informatics and electronic health information, to name but three technologies that were not available in 1995-96. In addition, the results from the ongoing Gulf War research programs that were initiated after the Gulf War in VA, DoD, HHS, and elsewhere now allow us to take advantage of this specific progress in Gulf War research. This progress helps to suggest new and innovative approaches to future Gulf War research that may be most likely to bear fruit. In addition, the ensuing years have seen an increasing appreciation among federal agencies of the need for thoughtful and careful coordination of interagency research efforts. At the April 2011 meeting of the Gulf War Steering Committee, a draft outline of the proposed strategic plan was presented and discussed.

The overall goal of the Gulf War Research Strategic Plan 2011-2015 is to improve the health and well-being of Gulf War Veterans, and to utilize emerging knowledge to prevent similar war-related illnesses in the future. In developing the Gulf War Research Strategic Plan 2011-2015, the most recent reports from the IOM and RACGWVI, as well as other reports and publications, were reviewed to prepare a harmonized summary of what has been accomplished to date in Gulf War research and what research remains to be done that will benefit Gulf War Veterans.

The Gulf War Research Strategic Plan 2011-2015 thus represents a significant major revision and update of the first "Working Plan" that was put forth in 1995-96. The Plan has five major sections:

1. Executive Summary

2. Introduction and Background

3. Evolution of the Gulf War Strategic Plan 1995-2011

4. Summary of Gulf War Research Results and Federal Funding 1993-2010

5. Gulf War Strategic Research Objectives 2011-2015

The seven strategic objectives that the Gulf War Research Strategic Plan 2011-2015 advances are presented in detail in section 5 of the Plan:

1. Research to enable development of new Gulf War Case Definitions

2. Genetics/Genomics

3. Biomarkers

4. Symptomatic and Specific Treatments

5. Coordination/Communication between Partners and Researchers

6. Translation of Research into Practice

7. Animal Models

Progress has been made in Gulf War Research, yet much work remains to be done. This Gulf War Research Strategic Plan 2011-2015 has been formulated to make clearer the way forward in research. The Gulf War Research Strategic Plan 2011-2015 will be reviewed annually by the Gulf War Steering Committee, and updated as needed.

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