Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Naval Medical Research Center Uses Genome Sequencing for Variants

Image of Military personnel pose for a group photo. FREDERICK, Md. (Oct. 11, 2022) Naval Medical Research personnel with the Biological Defense Research Directorate’s Genomics and Bioinformatics department pose for a group photo. BDRD, located at Fort Detrick, works to advance research and development of therapeutics to protect against biological attacks. The effort is part of the DOD SARS-CoV-2 Whole Genome Sequencing Action Plan, which brings together laboratories to conduct whole genome sequencing across the Military Health System in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Editor's note: This is the fifth article in a 7-part series that highlights the work of technicians and scientists in Military Health System laboratories who worked to identify COVID-19 variants using special sequencing technology.

The Naval Medical Research Command's Biological Defense Research Directorate has sequenced over 6,700 samples and provided support to key shipboard and military training populations to identify COVID-19 variants. Specific fleet assets supported with viral genome sequencing by NMRC include the USS Theodore Roosevelt and eight other ships. It also includes military treatment facilities, the fleet, and the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps units, with samples originating within the United States and from four continents.

"Being able to provide detailed information regarding the variants allows for up-to-date information to the fleet and Marine force, as well as other services,” said U.S. Navy Capt. William Deniston, commander of Naval Medical Research Center. "This information helps inform leadership on the most current threats to the armed forces."

The data provided on samples from Camp Lemonnier, a U.S. naval base in Djibouti, Africa, helped provide important information for stakeholders in U.S. Africa Command and the West African region, by providing surveillance of circulating variants in U.S. forces in an under-sampled region. The SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences produced at NMRC were the first published viral sequences from Djibouti and resulted in identification of rare mutations.

Headquartered at Fort Detrick, Maryland, the NMRC-BDRD also played an instrumental role in the COVID-19 outbreak response, coordinating SARS-CoV-2 sample receiving and sharing among labs in the National Capital Region. NMRC’s efforts provided important support for sequencing and viral isolation to the Department of Defense and Military Health System, as well as training to partner laboratories on SARS-CoV-2 protocols and bioinformatics analysis.

"NMRC's BDRD is uniquely qualified to conduct the deep sequencing needed to do this work. The incredible scientists we have at NMRC are the best in the business," stated Deniston.

You also may be interested in...

Article Around MHS
Aug 24, 2023

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Performs First Robotic Bronchoscopy Within the Defense Health Agency

Walter Reed’s Interventional Pulmonology team gears up for first Robotic Bronchoscopy within the Defense Health Agency. Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Robert F. Browning (1st row 4th from left) and U.S. Navy Capt. Sean McKay (1st row 5th from left). (Photo: James Black)

Walter Reed performed the first robotic bronchoscopy procedure in the Defense Health Agency. Using the robotic bronchoscope to augment our current cutting edge cone beam CT Bronchoscopy program, Walter Reed now offers state of the art services in precision lung biopsy and early lung cancer diagnosis previously unavailable within the DHA.

Article
Aug 23, 2023

Military Health System: How Ideas Are Adopted to Help Patients, Providers

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Victoria McPhall hands Lt. Laken Koontz an intrauterine device at Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River. IUDs are one of the many birth control options offered during the clinic’s walk-in contraceptive clinic every Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. The Defense Health Agency’s Women’s Health Clinical Management team faced an aggressive three-month deadline to roll out new Walk-in Contraceptive Services walk-in contraceptive services at military hospital and clinics across the Military Health System. (Photo: Photo by Kathy Hieatt, Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River, Maryland)

New evidence-based practices can improve health care, yet they don’t always get adopted. There are many reasons for this, including a lack of awareness, lack of training and implementation support, and a reluctance to doing things differently than in the past—to name a few. Even mandates to adopt a certain new service or practice may not overcome some ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 23, 2023

Forward Care for the Warfighter: U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command Talks Battlefield Countermeasures at MHSRS

Soldiers with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command perform a battlefield care scenario during the MRDC 2023 Best Squad Competition at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, on April 11, 2023.  (Photo: Danae Johnson)

With time spent on the battlefield being an increasing reality, products to help deliver immediate prolonged care to the Warfighter are now more important than ever. A concept known well by Maj. Zachary Booms, an emergency medicine physician at the Combat Casualty Care Research Team at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's Institute ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 23, 2023

Researchers Say 'Warfighters Must Train like They Fight,' Emphasizing Mental Resilience During MHSRS

Susannah Knust, a research psychologist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, speaks during a 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium session on Warfighter Operational Resilience on August 17, 2023. (Photo credit: Danae Johnson, USAMRDC Public Affairs)

Nearly all military physical and field training exercises can enhance mental toughness and physical endurance, which researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command believe can prepare Warfighters for the future, they explained during a session on the final day of the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium on August 17, ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 23, 2023

MHSRS 2023 Kicks Off with Powerful Message: Medical Readiness for the Future Fight

Team members from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's Medical Material Development Activity - Broad Spectrum Snakebite Antidote (BSSA) program, receive the Military Health System Research Symposium 2023 Outstanding Research Accomplishment award in team/program management in Kissimmee, Florida on August 14, 2023.  (Photo: Danae Johnson)

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Lester Martinez-López kicked off the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium with a keynote speech on the morning of August 14, delivering powerful words to the more than 4,000 people attending the event. Weaving his heartfelt sentiments into an overall call for action, Martinez put the ...

Article Around MHS
Jul 13, 2023

Entomologist Augments Warfighter Research Across Indo Pacific Region

U.S. Navy Lt. Thomas McGlynn, a medical entomologist at the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence, poses for a photo with Malaysian commissioned and noncommissioned officers, Malaysian public health officials, and researchers from the University of Malaysia Sabah during their training in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on Feb. 9. (Photo: U.S. Navy Lt. Nicholas Johnston)

Naval Medical Research Unit 2 was established during World War II in Guam to conduct applied research in support of force health protection and has operated intermittently since 1955. Currently, NAMRU-2 is located in Singapore and acts as the center of a hub-and-spoke research model in multiple southeastern Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, ...

Article Around MHS
Jul 7, 2023

Fate Brings Accident Victim to Brooke Amy Medical Center for Groundbreaking Procedure

Madisyn Cardenas, center, is pictured with her family after a graduation ceremony for her sister Larissa Sanchez at Texas A&M University in Kingsville, Texas, on May 12. From left, dad Stephen Cardenas, brother Stevie Cardenas, sister Larissa Sanchez, Madisyn Cardenas, mother Jennifer Cardenas, sister Natalie Villarreal. Cardenas was severely injured in a roadside accident on Oct. 5, 2022 and brought to Brooke Army Medical Center for a groundbreaking procedure. (Photo Courtesy Department of Defense)

After being struck by a car, Madisyn Cardenas had a torn aorta, broken hip, pinky finger, pelvis, and clavicle; lacerated tongue; separated abdomen; kidney lacerations; colon tear; brain hematoma; and multiple cuts, bruises, and puncture wounds. “The scariest of all was a tear in my aorta that went undetected until my arrival at Brooke Army Medical ...

Skip subpage navigation
Refine your search
Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery