By Capt. John W. Sanders III, MC, commanding officer, Naval Medical Research Center
Sailors and Marines are stationed or deployed around the world and face many challenges while performing their duties. Navy biomedical researchers are conducting many studies to assess these challenges and develop methods or products to enhance force health protection.
Our research teams work on many projects in areas such as military operational and expeditionary medicine, combat casualty care, vaccine development, fatigue intervention, resiliency building and spatial disorientation. We are making advances in wound management, regenerative medicine, traumatic brain injury, infectious disease diagnostics, bone marrow transplantation, and so much more.
The diverse capabilities and geographic location of our laboratories reflect this broad scope of research. Here are some examples from our CONUS research commands.
- Naval Submarine Medicine Research Laboratory is studying enclosed atmospheres, submarine escape procedures, decompression sickness and hearing preservation.
- Naval Health Research Center is focused on warfighter performance, medical modeling and wounded warrior care. They are leaders in epidemiological and behavioral studies, including the Millennium Cohort study, the largest prospective health study in the military with more than 200,000 participants.
- The Naval Medical Research Unit – Dayton is exploring performance and survivability through world-class aeromedical and environmental health research that includes research looking into pharmaceuticals for motion sickness and fatigue countermeasures.
- Naval Medical Research Unit – San Antonio is collaborating with neurosurgeons, and oral and maxillofacial surgeons to reduce postsurgical infections related to cranial implants to replace lost bone tissue.
- Naval Medical Research Center works on finding solutions to operational medical threats, such as decompression illness, traumatic brain injury, and infectious diseases.
Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases remain a threat to our operational forces. We have three OCONUS infectious disease research commands. They are in Cairo with a field site in Accra, Ghana; Singapore with a field site in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Lima, Peru, with a field site in Iquitos, Peru.
The mission of these labs is to detect infectious threats of military or public health importance and to develop and test mitigation strategies against those threats. The location of these labs and their principal field sites on three continents and in climatic conditions ranging from tropical rain forest, to coastal areas and inland deserts are ideally suited to the study of the widest range of potential infectious disease threats to operational forces.
We are proud to be out in front for Navy Medicine and are committed to improving current readiness and enhancing future capabilities.
For more information visit our enterprise web site – http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmrc/SitePages/index.aspx