The CNRM was established to address the current and future needs of the DoD and the medical community to better diagnose and intervene for the prevention of the long term consequences resulting from traumatic brain injury (TBI), particularly in the context experienced by service members in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Funding for CNRM was initially appropriated by the United States Congress (Public Law 110-252 in 2008) to DoD and continues through DoD funding to the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU).
To accomplish this mission, the CNRM brings together the expertise of clinicians and scientists from the DoD and the NIH to work across disciplines to catalyze innovative approaches to TBI research. In the process of determining urgent research priorities, the CNRM broadly embraces all avenues to improve recovery following TBI. Informed by a detailed TBI research gap analysis, six integrated research programs, supported by eleven core facilities, were established among collaborating DoD facilities and the NIH to focus on the needs for diagnosis and treatment of soldiers in the National Capital Area.
USU is responsible on behalf of DoD for fiscal management as well as coordinating the establishment and operation of the CNRM. As the Nation's federal health sciences university committed to excellence in military medicine and public health during peace and war, USU is uniquely situated to perform these activities across the Armed Forces.
Today, CNRM is a mature interagency, interdisciplinary catalyst for brain injury research comprising:
•Program /core leaders, who work together as a TBI “think tank” and comprise subject matter experts for CNRM, DoD, and HHS
•Core facilities and expertise that support patient recruitment, acute studies, neuroimaging, phenotyping, biomarker analysis, clinical data, neuropathology, and animal models; these cores support projects and lead patient natural history studies to improve TBI classification and outcome measures
•Biospecimen and brain tissue repositories as well as a clinical database provide foundation for further translational studies
•Animal modeling capability to address military context of TBI damage (blast, repetitive, stress) using rigorous neuroscience approaches
•Policies, procedures, and agreements that facilitate collaboration across sites