Another Strong Showing: Naval Medical Research & Development Enterprise Wraps up the 2023 MHSRS

US Navy | 2023-08-19

By Sidney Hinds

Military and civilian staff from the Naval Medical Research & Development (NMR&D) enterprise pose for a group photo at the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS).

KISSIMEE, FL.: Personnel with the Naval Medical Research & Development (NMR&D) enterprise concluded the 2023 Military Health Symposium Research Symposium (MHSRS) on August 17.

MHSRS, a four-day annual event that took place this year from August 14-17 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Conference Center, provided enterprise personnel with multiple forums to demonstrate the breadth and impact of research done by its eight commands.

“Leadership in Navy and Military Medicine see that the work we do is relevant across the services,” said Capt. Franca Jones, commander, Naval Medical Research Command (NMRC). “We are doing work in two important and complimentary lines of effort: not only on behalf of the Navy and Marines, but the entirety of the DoD.”

Over 130 enterprise personnel attended MHSRS to represent its eight commands: NMRC, Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory (NSMRL), Naval Health Research Center (NHRC), Naval Medical Research Unit (NAMRU) Dayton, NAMRU San Antonio, NAMRU INDO PACIFIC, NAMRU-EURAFCENT, and NAMRU SOUTH. Enterprise staff, a group of military, civilian and contractor research, medical and support personnel, participated in a range of conference activities, presenting at breakout sessions, presenting research posters and engaging with stakeholders throughout the military health system.

“Our enterprise researchers gave an impressive showing at MHSRS again this year,” said Dr. Jill Phan, NMR&D enterprise and NMRC science director. “They are so dedicated to their work, and it clearly shows with dozens of posters and presentations in topic areas spanning a diverse set of critical research areas, chairing sessions, and winning multiple awards.”

“All the while, we’re meeting with collaborators, colleagues, funding sponsors and leadership to take full advantage of being together with our larger community working together to fill gaps and solve problems in military medicine,” Phan added.

During the opening award ceremony on Monday, NHRC received two awards: for the work done by the Millennium Cohort team to research the long-term physical and behavioral health impacts of service, and by the Command Readiness, Endurance, and Watchstanding (CREW) team for their work in studying sleep habits and fatigue solutions for sailors.

“Our research staff at NHRC are an outstanding group of professionals,” Capt. Eric Welsh, NHRC commanding officer, observed. “They are personally invested in the well-being and readiness of our warfighters, and their recognition here at MHSRS shows just that. I am proud to have charge of this great command.”

Researchers from commands across the enterprise participated in three separate poster presentation sessions during the symposium. Additionally, NMRC and NSMRL earned second place and honorable mention awards out of the hundreds of posters displayed at each session.

“I’m blown away by the quality and breadth of research that our colleagues in military health bring to this symposium every year,” said Cmdr. Brian Pike, NMRC deputy science director. “The knowledge all of us take away from these presentations informs and strengthens our work on behalf of U.S. service members and our nation.”

MHSRS is the Department of Defense's premier scientific meeting that focuses specifically on the unique medical needs of the Warfighter. This annual educational symposium brings together healthcare professionals, researchers, and DoD leaders for four days of critical learning, intensive idea sharing, and relationship building.

The NMR&D enterprise, led by NMRC, is engaged in a broad spectrum of activity from basic science in the laboratory to field studies in austere and remote areas of the world to investigations in operational environments.

In support of the Navy, Marine Corps, and joint U.S. warfighters, enterprise researchers study infectious diseases, biological warfare detection and defense, combat casualty care, environmental health concerns, aerospace and undersea medicine, medical modeling, simulation, operational mission support, epidemiology, and behavioral sciences.