Skip to main content

Military Health System

Important Notice about Pharmacy Operations

Change Healthcare Cyberattack Impact on MHS Pharmacy Operations. Read the statement to learn more. 

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
Dec 19, 2022

Protect Yourself With Respiratory Illnesses on the Rise

Military medical personnel administering vaccine

"Tis the season, and respiratory illnesses are on the rise. Learn critical health guidance about the viral triple threat of COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold, and the commonsense steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.

Article Around MHS
Dec 14, 2022

New Simulation Lab Comes to 22nd Medical Group

Military medical personnel training on CAE apollo mannequin

The 22nd Medical Group unveiled a new simulation lab to provide airmen with hands-on training for future emergency situations on Nov. 30. At the source of the lab is a high-fidelity mannequin with a wide range of life-like features such as breathing, circulation, bleeding, fluid secretions, and speech to deliver realistic simulation-based emergency ...

Article Around MHS
Oct 26, 2022

Exoskeleton to Enhance Safety, Retention for Aerial Porters, Others

Military personnel pushes exoskeleton robotic fitness machine

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Center for Rapid Innovation, or CRI, held an event Oct. 6 with the U.S. Air Force Reserve Commander’s 445th Airlift Wing for a robotics team to demonstrate the latest Forge System, a pneumatically powered exoskeleton that augments leg strength to reduce fatigue, increase endurance, and offset weight.

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