University of Colorado Cancer Center investigators are much sought after in the government’s review of grants involving prostate cancer research.

Steve Nordeen, CU Cancer Center

Steve Nordeen, PhD, professor of molecular biology and pathology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Out of the nine Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) Peer Review Panels sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), three are chaired by University of Colorado Cancer Center investigators. Steve Nordeen, PhD, Michael Glodé, MD, and Hari Koul, M.Sc., PhD, FACN, FASN, are each serving a year on one of the panels.

Nordeen is the chair of the Detection, Diagnosis and Prognosis Panel. It is his third time serving as chair; however, he has served more than 15 times as a DoD reviewer.

The Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics Panel 2 is chaired by Glodé. He has previously been a reviewer and has served on the DoD Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium External Advisory Panel.

Michael Glode, MD, university of colorado cancer center investigator

Mike Glode, MD, professor of medical oncology, University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Koul is the chair of the Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics Panel 1, which is the sixth time he has served on a panel and the third time he has chaired.

Researchers are recruited each year to be peer reviewers during the grant review process. Alongside the researchers, consumers are also recruited to represent the collective view of survivors, patients, family members and people at-risk of developing prostate cancer.

“The grant program has a very different focus than NIH,” says Nordeen. “This program is very focused on the patient so the panels include three lay people who’ve had prostate cancer. They help keep us focused on the end result: How is this going to make a difference for patients and how soon?”

Hari Koul

Hari Koul, PhD, director of research of the urology and surgery programs at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Together, the reviewers and consumers are tasked with measuring each proposal against a gold standard for innovation and impact, as well as scientific rationale and research strategy. In 2012, the DoD received a congressional appropriation of $80 million to fund prostate cancer research projects.

“It is a distinct pleasure to serve the review panels of the PCRP,” Koul says. “This program is unique and unparalleled and is quintessential for supporting out-of the box ideas and highly innovative research proposals aimed at addressing unmet needs in prostate cancer. The unique mix of reviewers’ basic scientists, clinical and translational researchers and consumer advocates helps identify not only the best science, but also the most relevant and the most impactful proposals.”