Annual Spring Research Festival Features FDA, NASA Presentations
The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command hosted the annual Spring Research Festival April 27-28. USAMRDC held the event as a means to highlight key research accomplishments over the past year. The command co-sponsored the event along with the Military Health and Research Foundation.
"The Spring Research Festival is a critical venue that we plan to grow quickly into the future for the benefit of Americans who happen to work for the defense of this nation," said Deputy Commanding Officer of USAMRDC, Col. Andrew Kim. "We will not fail those Americans who volunteer to go into harm's way to defend our way of life."
The festival brought together nearly 500 scientists, students and members of the surrounding community to collaborate and share research currently taking place at both Fort Detrick and the National Cancer Institute at Frederick. This year's event included keynote speakers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as a Collaborative Research Opportunity Showcase featuring speakers from the Fort Detrick National Interagency Confederation for Biological Research.
Col. Todd Bell, acting deputy commander at USAMRDC's U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, provided an overview of USAMRIID's mission and current research portfolio, highlighting areas of potential collaboration with partners in the National Interagency Confederation for Biological Research during the Collaborative Research Opportunity Showcase.
"USAMRIID has a proud history of supporting Warfighter readiness through medical research on biological threats and emerging diseases," said Bell. "What truly sets us apart is our 'end-to-end' capability. USAMRIID plays a part in every stage of a medical product's development – from initial discovery, through pre-clinical research, to working with key partners who develop the product and see it all the way through the regulatory pipeline to approval and fielding."
To that end, USAMRIID research ultimately leads to vaccines, diagnostic tools and therapeutics to prevent, detect and treat infections caused by biological threats to military, according to Bell.
"The Collaborative Research Opportunity Showcase not only opens doors for collaboration between U.S. government units, it provides a clear illustration of the important and diverse research being performed by Army scientists," said showcase presenter, Dr. Edward Diehl, a commercialization officer for USAMRDC's Medical Technology Transfer office whose own presentation outlined how his team turns technologies discovered by Army scientists into products to help the Warfighter.
The event featured scientists from NICBR agencies providing an overview of ongoing research projects – highlighting those with the opportunity for collaboration with other agencies. Notably, these research projects offer opportunities to attendees in collaborative research areas and further offer eligibility for collaborative research awards.
The research festival also included the Young Investigator Symposium, which featured six researchers from USAMRDC and NCI showcasing their respective research projects and potential impacts. The top two award recipients for the Young Investigator Symposium were Antonia Santoro from USAMRDC's U.S. Army Research Institute of Chemical Defense in first place, and Anthony Mele from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in second place.
In addition, the Spring Research Festival included 46 poster displays noting ongoing research projects taking place at Fort Detrick. Participants from NCI, NIAID and the United States Department of Agriculture participated in the Poster Blitz in which they gave a brief oral presentation on their research.
"The event was a great success. We were able to get presenters from every agency and had two distinguished Keynote Speakers present," said Spring Research Festival Coordinator and USAMRDC NICBR Management Assistant, Jessica Miles. "Our goal for 2023 is to have the event to return in person and possibly add virtual components. We are hopeful this will expand participation to partner agencies and the Fort Detrick community."
Preparations are underway for the 2023 Spring Research Festival.