The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's (USAMRMC's) mission is to provide medical knowledge and materiel life-cycle management to protect, treat, and optimize Warfighter health and performance across the full spectrum of operations. USAMRMC provides research and development in a variety of areas, including chemical and biological defense. Medical chemical and biological research at USAMRMC supports the mission of the Chemical and Biological Defense Program (CBDP) to provide chemical and biological defense capabilities in support of national military strategies.
The Department of Defense (DoD) established the CBDP in 1994 to provide chemical and biological defense capabilities in support of national military strategies. In accordance with 50 USC 1522, research, development, and acquisition (RDA) of chemical and biological defense programs within the DoD are overseen by a single office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs (ATSD[NCB]) serves as this single office. The Deputy Assistant for Chemical and Biological Defense and Chemical Demilitarization Programs serves as the principal deputy to the ATSD(NCB) for accomplishing overall oversight and integration of the DoD CBDP.
CBDP science and technology (S&T) programs are managed by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's (DTRA's) Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JSTO-CBD). The JSTO-CBD is designated as the Chemical and Biological Technologies Directorate of the DTRA and is responsible for the management, integration, and execution of medical chemical and biological defense S&T programs within the DoD. The Chemical Biological Defense Partnership Support Directorate (PSD), which is a staff office under the Commanding General, USAMRMC, supports JSTO-CBD through the development and maintenance of an interactive web site for the management of all intramural chemical and biological defense S&T proposals. The Joint Chemical Biological Defense Research Program web site facilitates proposal management for all laboratories within the DoD, as well as other U.S. Government agencies, including the Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, NASA, and others.
To accomplish the objectives and purposes of the defense-wide medical chemical and biological defense S&T program, USAMRMC supports JSTO-CBD's planning and program management of that portion of the CBDP assigned to the Army Medical Department, including research performed at the following key USAMRMC laboratories: U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD), and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). In support of JSTO-CBD, the PSD, through its web-based program build process, facilitates planning for chemical and biological defense research at other service laboratories as well as other government laboratories and federally funded research and development centers. The PSD assists USAMRIID, USAMRICD, and WRAIR in reporting on the execution of medical chemical and biological S&T research funded by JSTO-CBD. The PSD also assists JSTO-CBD in executing assigned congressional special interest chemical and biological S&T research.
On 30 September 2008, the CBDP Strategic Plan was published. This plan outlined the need to maintain a robust S&T base and promote and exploit scientific discoveries. The CBDP will continue to segment the goals of S&T into the following key thrusts:
USAMRMC laboratories provide critical medical research capabilities to support national strategies against chemical and biological threats. The Command's capabilities include unique infrastructure, dedicated personnel, and scientific and technical expertise that keep the United States on the cutting edge of the development of scientific information and technology development.
The nature of the chemical and biological threat is complex and diverse. The threat comes from various players, from nation-states to small terrorist organizations. The threat comes in various forms, including, but not limited to, bacteria, toxins, viruses, blisters, blood, and nerve agents. The threat of exposure comes from airborne exposure (i.e., inhalational), contact (i.e., dermal), and other means (e.g., ingestion.) Consequently, research and development include a variety of countermeasures, including vaccines and pre- and postexposure prophylaxes, therapeutics, and medical diagnostics (i.e., assays, reagents, and protocols).
Partnerships and collaborations are critical to the success of USAMRMC laboratories. USAMRMC partners with industry, academia, other government agencies, and international partners. These collaborations include Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, Material Transfer Agreements, Patent License Agreements, Clinical Trial Agreements, Test and Evaluation Agreements, Partnership Intermediaries, Data Exchange Agreements, and Memoranda of Agreement.
USAMRMC laboratories also provide education and training to military and civilian medical and public health professionals to provide proficiency in recognizing that a chemical or biological attack has occurred, activating the appropriate agencies and personnel to investigate the event, treating casualties, and preventing the spread of disease.
Q1. What USAMRMC laboratories are responsible for performing chemical and biological defense research?
A1. Key USAMRMC laboratories conducting research and development of medical countermeasures against chemical and biological threats include:
Q2. What are your research priorities in developing countermeasures to chemical and biological threats?
A2. Research priorities for medical chemical and biological defense are established by the JSTO-CBD in collaboration with the Joint Requirements Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Defense and the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense.
For the fiscal year 2010ï¿½2011 (FY10ï¿½FY11) period, JSTO-CBD released a solicitation for research proposals for chemical and biological defense. Research ranges from basic research (6.1 funding) to more mature applied research (6.2 funding) and advanced technology development (6.3 funding). It encompasses a broad spectrum of topics that address chemical and biological defense S&T requirements. Medical chemical and biological research topic areas included the following:
Q3. How can ideas be submitted for a research proposal?
A3. For extramural organizations, including universities, industry, or other private institutions, the primary means for submitting research preproposals is through the DTRA Broad Agency Announcement. Chemical and biological defense S&T programs are managed by JSTO-CBD at DTRA.
DTRA solicits proposals for its requirements through the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) and the DoD Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program solicitations.
In addition to submitting proposals directly to DTRA, extramural partners may instead choose to partner with an intramural laboratory. There are a variety of mechanisms available for USAMRMC to work together with industry, including the following mechanisms:
The DTRA JSTO-CBD also invites U.S. Government laboratories to submit research proposals on chemical and biological defense, and proposals for these intramural efforts are managed on the Joint Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Program web site at https://jcbdrp.amedd.army.mil.
Q4. What are some other organizations that I might partner with in the development of a new technology?
A4. The DoD CBDP is the lead organization providing RDA of capabilities to protect the Warfighter. Other federal agencies are providing related capabilities, especially in the protection of civilians and emergency personnel. Other organizations conducting related research include:
The roles and responsibilities of the various federal agencies are outlined in Biodefense for the 21st Century (HSPD-10) and Medical Countermeasures Against Weapons of Mass Destruction (HSPD-18).
Q5. Where would I find out more information about chemical and biological research, development, or acquisition?
A5. The CBDP RDA Plan details mid- and long-term CBDP goals, objectives, and transition of materiel within each phase of the acquisition process consistent with the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics' comprehensive RDA strategy in accordance with the National Military Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction. To request a copy of the January 2009 DoD CBDP RDA Plan, contact the CBRN Defense Program Analysis and Integration Office RDA Manager at 410-436-5743 or the RDA Coordinator at 410-436-2080.
Q6. What are some examples of successes of medical chemical and biological defense research and development?
A6. Medical S&T successes in FY07 included the establishment of assay standards and the focus on knowledge-based publications, which resulted in more than 150 peer-reviewed publications and 33 patents.
Other medical chemical and biological S&T program research accomplishments are outlined in the May 2008 DoD CBDP Annual Report to Congress and include the following:
Medical Biological Defense - Diagnostics:
Medical Biological Defense ï¿½ Therapeutics:
Medical Chemical Defense ï¿½ Pretreatments:
Medical Chemical Defense ï¿½ Diagnostics:
Medical Chemical Defense ï¿½ Therapeutics:
Q7. What chemical and biological defense training opportunities exist for members of the U.S. military?
A7. USAMRICD and USAMRIID have developed a number of training programs in chemical and biological defense, as follows.