• For Immediate Release
    October 11, 2012 - AUSTIN, TX
  • For more information, contact
    Laura Kunz 512-344-2038

CPRIT Statement on Dr. Gilman’s resignation and CPRIT’s future direction

With the departure of Dr. Gilman, CPRIT is entering a new era. It is no surprise that some of the current reviewers have chosen to leave at this time. We have identified several exceptional candidates to succeed Dr. Gilman as Chief Scientific Officer, and this individual's first order of business will be to recruit outstanding cancer experts to serve as peer reviewers under his or her leadership. We have every confidence that CPRIT will have a full cadre of expert peer reviewers in place for the next scientific review cycle.

CPRIT stands by the integrity of our peer review process. Dr. Gilman was instrumental in establishing what is now considered the "gold standard" in the industry, and that process will remain intact. The process has in fact been improved over the last few years, as we have proactively seized opportunities to strengthen it.

Any assertions that the peer review process has been compromised or that CPRIT's staff or Oversight Committee members are trying to influence the peer reviewers are false and misinformed. Since CPRIT's inception, every single grant that has been recommended to the Oversight Committee by the reviewers has been approved.

It has been reported that CPRIT asks peer reviewers to reconsider their scores. When there are divergent scores among peer reviewers, in fairness to the applicants, the process allows for further review or discussion of the variances during panel discussions. Unlike the prevention and research review process, the commercialization review process includes in-person presentations by the applicants, which the scientific reviewers do not attend. If new information comes up from the in-person question and answer period, it is shared with all reviewers – including those who were not in the presentation so all reviewers have the same information. The final decision on whether to revise scores rests with the individual reviewer.

We are proud of our many accomplishments to date and many more to come. Through our Future Directions initiative, we have received a great deal of input from diverse stakeholders across the state. This process is ongoing and no decisions have been made; this valuable feedback will inform the Oversight Committee's direction for CPRIT over the next seven years. Above all, we hold fast to our mission of reducing the burden of cancer in Texas. Texans' lives are at stake, and in honor of those affected by this heinous disease, we won't back down.