U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command

July 8, 2002

Department of Defense National Prion Research Program

Points of Contact:
Lieutenant Colonel Calvin B. Carpenter, DVM, DACLAM, NPRP Program Manager
Gail Whitehead, Public Affairs Coordinator, phone 301-619-7071

The Fiscal Year 2002 (FY02) U.S. Defense Appropriations Act provides $42.5 million to the Department of Defense for "Prion Research." Therefore, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command through the Office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) is establishing the National Prion Research Program (NPRP). The goal of the NPRP is to develop a rapid, sensitive, and reproducible test for the detection of prions suitable for use as an antemortem diagnostic test as well as a screening assay. In support of this goal, additional topics of interest include a better understanding of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and the prevention, transmission, and pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). Proposals with military relevance are specifically sought.

This announcement will call for proposals in the following mechanisms:

  • Idea Awards are designed to encourage innovative approaches to TSE research from both established TSE investigators and investigators in other fields who want to move into TSE-related research. No preliminary data are required for submission.
  • Investigator-Initiated Research Awards emphasize and strongly encourage the introduction of new research paradigms, technologies and expertise to the TSE field especially through the development of partnerships between academic and industry researchers or between established TSE researchers and researchers from other disciplines. These applications require preliminary data.
  • Career Transition Awards are intended to facilitate career advancements by accommodating the relatively long time that it takes to generate data in prion experimental models. Awards are designed to support the last 2 years of a postdoctoral traineeship and the first 3 years of a junior faculty position.
  • Prion Techniques Fellowship Awards offer investigators the opportunity to work in the laboratory of established prion researchers in order to acquire critical skills or learn new methods relevant to prion research.
  • Resource Development Contracts will provide support for developing experimental materials from relevant animal models of prion disease.

Release of the FY02 NPRP Program Announcement (PA) is anticipated for late July 2002/early August 2002, with receipt of proposals due in late October 2002/early November 2002.

Detailed descriptions of targeted research areas, award mechanisms, evaluation criteria, and submission requirements will be available when the FY02 NPRP PA is released. Once the PA is released, it may be downloaded from the CDMRP web site ( FY02 NPRP proposals must be submitted electronically as PDF (Portable Document Format) files by an authorized Administrative Representative from the Sponsored Programs Office (Financial Office) of the applicant's organization.

If you wish to be notified by e-mail when the FY02 NPRP PA is released, please inform Ms. Whitehead at

For more information about other CDMRP-sponsored programs and events, please visit the CDMRP web site at