In 2009, the United States (US) Department of Defense (DoD) Blast Injury Research Program Coordinating Office (PCO) established the annual International State-of-the-Science (SoS) Meeting Series on behalf of the DoD Executive Agent for Blast Injury Research. The SoS Meeting Series is a unique and enduring capability that leverages the expertise of outstanding scientists, engineers, and clinicians to identify knowledge gaps and inform future research needed to close the gaps in the prevention, mitigation and treatment of blast injury. Participants in the SoS meetings include representatives from the DoD (to include the medical, operational, and materiel communities), other US government agencies, academia, industry, and international communities. Each meeting focuses on a particular blast injury topic and attendees participate in working meetings to identify knowledge gaps and formulate recommendations within this topic area that can be used to inform future blast injury research priorities and facilitate the development of blast injury prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation strategies for the Service Member.
The unique format of these meetings includes a plenary session during which keynote and topic speakers lay out the scope of the challenges within the chosen topic of the specific meeting. This is followed by a series of research presentations to review the state of the science across multiple topic areas. Participants then break out into working groups, where discussions are driven by a set of previously developed questions. Each of the working groups is chaired by an Expert Panel member, who meet in a closed session after the working groups are concluded to distill findings and formulate specific and actionable recommendations. A final proceedings report highlights the key findings and recommendations.
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