The CNRM views a highly collaborative team approach to be of most benefit and aims to stimulate innovative research developed from the collective expertise within and across research programs.
The CNRM is comprised of six interacting Programs. Each of the CNRM Programs oversees and supports a series of research subprojects. The research subproject plans were developed from working group discussions and collaborations among more than two hundred and fifty investigators with a range of scientific backgrounds and affiliations. The six integrated CNRM Programs provide an unprecedented opportunity for interdisciplinary approaches to TBI research.
To develop the CNRM research plans the investigators engaged in regular working group meetings to establish interactions with other investigators and synergy across Programs. This phase of discussions prior to writing specific research subprojects was integral to generating and internally vetting the CNRM's scientific research development. The goal of each Program was to develop a set of research subprojects that supported one another to further the technical or scientific impact of the studies within each Program.
The prioritization for subprojects to be supported within the CNRM was based on:
- Ability to address gaps in TBI research, especially for issues relevant to the military patients in the national capital area.
- Collaborative research plans among DoD investigators at USUHS and other collaborating DoD institutions, or, as collaborations of NIH investigators with scientists and clinicians at USU and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC).
- Scientific merit and potential impact in the field.
- Overall importance for CNRM goals, including project synergy across Programs.
The CNRM's mutually reinforcing recruitment and phenotyping of patients contributes to the six Program's specific research protocols to improve the research quality across all the subprojects involving human studies. The CNRM's pairing of animal studies and human studies in specific areas, including histopathology, imaging, biomarkers, and neuroplasticity/rehabilitation, is designed to take full advantage of the ability of the CNRM to coordinate efforts across Programs.
To develop the CNRM Program Projects, Program Leaders were appointed by Dr. Charles Rice, President USU, with Co-Leaders from NIH added with recommendations from the relevant NIH Institute Directors. An initial nucleus of investigators was identified to address the needed range of expertise and institutional representation for each working group to develop a research plan for each Program. Additional investigators were added to the working groups from responses to NIH Town Hall meetings and CNRM Interest Survey Responses, which were solicited through distribution to the faculty at USU and investigators at WRAMC, NNMC, AFIP, NMRC and NIH.
Investigators who wish to join the discussions of a CNRM working group should contact the relevant Program Leader or Co-Leader, or the CNRM Director or Co-Director.