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“Scientific Career Opportunities in the Government and Military”

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Presentation on theme: "“Scientific Career Opportunities in the Government and Military”"— Presentation transcript:

1 “Scientific Career Opportunities in the Government and Military”
Edward J. Zambraski, Ph.D., FACSM Chief, Military Performance Division US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine Natick, MA (508)

2 Background – E. Zambraski
Ph.D., University of Iowa “Exercise Physiology” Research Renal, cardiovascular, exercise physiology 1976 – Rutgers University Depts: Physiology →Biology → Physiology → Cell Biology / Neuroscience Teaching: Physiology/Exercise Physiology Research: Maintained an externally funded lab for 27 years Renal nerves, Hypertension / cirrhosis, PG Renal Function, RAS 2003 – Present: Chief (Chair), Military Performance Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA

3 Three Perspectives University Researcher/Teacher/Dept. Chair
Time demands of teaching and research Competing for funds: NIH, private sector APS: “Career Opportunity Committee” Member and Chair for several years US Government / Army: Civilian Scientist

4 My “Career Transition”
Quite a bit beyond “mid-career” !! The kind of environment I currently work in

5 Mid-Career Transitions
Fundamental Issues – Government Scientist Are there jobs/positions? Types of positions or skill sets required? Similarities/contrasts to Academic positions

6 US Army Medical Department Organization Chart
Medical Command (MEDCOM) Office of the Army Surgeon General Medical Research & Materiel Command AMEDD Center & School Regional Medical Commands Dental Command Veterinary Command Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine.

7 US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM)
20 miles west of Boston Co-located with the Natick Soldier Center Natick Ideal location for collaboration: MIT, Harvard, BU, etc.

8 US Army MRMC Research Military Infectious Diseases
27% Med Chem Defense 15% Military Infectious Diseases Medical readiness Vaccines Biotechnology Prophylaxis/treatment drugs Diagnostics/prognostics Vector control Medical C4ISR HIV countermeasures Combat Casualty Care 10% Med Bio Defense 31% Military Operational Medicine 17% Medical Chemical Defense Medical management of CW casualties Medical readiness Drug prophylaxes/ pretreatments Diagnostics/therapeutics Combat Casualty Care Lightweight medical equipment Medical C4ISR Trauma care Health monitoring & diagnostic technology All of this must be performed within the framework of an ethical, legal and scientifically and programmatically defensible system. It’s important to keep in mind that we are ultimately accountable to current and future soldiers and patients who are to benefit from these efforts, to the subjects who participate in our research, to our fellow investigators who compete for limited resources to conduct their own work, and to the Nation whose citizens invest their treasure with the intent of deriving added security from that investment. Having outlined the broad goals of biomedical research in the Army and DoD, allow me to discuss how this is achieved. In the Army, medical research for the soldier is largely conducted through one of two methods: under the auspices of the USAMRMC or through Clinical Investigation programs at our Military Treatment Facilities. In the larger DoD, biomedical research is also conducted through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA—this is particularly aimed at very futuristic, high-risk basic research—by which I mean that each initiative possesses a higher than usual risk of failure to yield measurable results; through the Office of Naval Research, especially in the areas of infectious disease, diving and combat casualty care; through the Air Force Research Office addressing largely aerospace human performance challenges; and at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. USUHS research includes basic and applied research on radiologic threats conducted at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute or AFRRI, an agency now under the direction of USUHS. It is hard to measure the relative magnitude of these efforts, but I would estimate that 60-75% of intramural biomedical research in the military is conducted through the USAMRMC and the balance in these other agencies. If measured by the overall flow of dollars into areas of investigation—conducted at both intramural and extramural sites—the balance is probably shifted toward DARPA with USAMRMC second and the ONR, USUHS and AF following behind. I n the USAMRMC, major research efforts are divided in six principal areas: Military Infectious Disease Research Programs (MIDRP); Combat Casualty Care Research Program; Military Operational Medicine Research Program—dealing with enhancing human performance under environmental and psychological stressors; Medical Chemical and Biological Defense Research Program; Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) which is organized around research on Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Neurofibromatosis, and the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) which includes a wide variety of Congressional interests in militarily relevant research; Telemedicine and Advanced Technologies research under the Telemedicine and Advanced Technologies Research Center or TATRC. The first four areas of work which span the full range of operational threats to the health of soldiers are directed by senior military officers—generally Colonel equivalents—called Research Area Directors or RADs; these are numbered RAD 1 through RAD 4. Each RAD is charged with understanding the operational requirements of the Army and Army Medical Department and with balancing the portfolio of research conducted under the auspices of the USAMRMC to ensure that these needs are optimally addressed with the resources at hand. These scientific leaders—who are overseen by our Principal Assistant for Research and Technology (PA[R&T]), a flag-level MRMC deputy—also serve at the higher DoD level as Subject Matter Experts ensuring that the biomedical research conducted throughout the entire DoD meets the force health protection and casualty management needs of the joint force. Military Operational Medicine Soldier selection & sustainment Soldier performance Warrior system modeling Health hazards protection Diagnostics/prognostics Health monitoring Medical Biological Defense Vaccines/therapies Field-portable diagnostic systems Medical readiness Biotechnology

9 Military Operational Medicine Labs
USAARL Fort Rucker, AL - Collocated with Army aviation - Platform-specific research (rotary-wing aircraft and ground combat vehicles) - Injury biodynamics research - Lead DoD biomedical lab for sensory research (visual and auditory performance) Tri-Service Directed Energy Brooks City-Base, TX Laser eye protection and visual performance WRAIR-Detachment - NHRC EMR Detachment USARIEM Natick, MA - Collocation with NSC Fort Detrick, MD - Deployment toxicology WRAIR Washington, DC - Basic sciences research - Neuropsychiatry, NAMRL Pensacola, FL - Collocation with Navy aviation - Aviation medicine Tactile sensory input and spatial disorientation research Air Force and Navy Toxicology Wright-Patterson AFB, OH - Occupational toxicology research - AFRL - NHRC Toxicology NHRC San Diego, CA - Collocation with Navy, Marines, special warfare, and trainees - Navy MOM lead lab - Epidemiology of injury and illness - Environmental and occupational medicine Altitude Laboratory Pikes Peak, CO USAMRU-E Heidelberg, Germany - Psychosocial stress studies in USAREUR and deployed forces NSMRL Groton, CT - Collocation with attack sub fleet - Auditory and visual performance enhancement (visual and auditory displays of sonar signals NMRC - Diving and environmental physiology - Hyperbaric medicine

10 March 25, 2008: “ > 40% of the Army’s science workforce are eligible for retirement within the next 10 years.” MG Weightman Commander, MRMC Army science workforce ~ 8,000+ Other DoD branches (Navy, Air Force) real numbers but much smaller

11 US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine
Environmental Extremes (Heat, Cold & High Terrestrial Altitude) Physiological Monitoring & Predictive Modeling OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE & PERFORMANCE “World-Class” Laboratory for Environmental Medicine, Physiology, Performance and Nutrition Research Integrated Cellular, Tissue, Animal & Human Research Programs Four research “Divisions” n = 200 scientists/support personnel Under a military “Command” 40 % scientists are military Occupational Task Performance & Injury Prevention Bioenergetics & Metabolism (Nutrition) Cognitive Performance Assessment

12 World Class Facilities
Doriot Climatic Chambers (minus 70 F to 160 F) Water Immersion Laboratory Altitude (Hypobaric) Chamber Sea-level to 9,150 m (30,000 ft) Biochemical labs, Testing labs, off-site centers Pikes Peak Lab 4300 m (highest in NA)

13 Research Support Division
USARIEM Organization Research Support Division Thermal & Mountain Medicine Division (TMMD) Biophysics & Biomedical Modeling Division (BBMD) Military Nutrition Division (MND) Military Performance Division (MPD) USARIEM Personnel: N ≈ 200 35% Military 50% Civilian 15% Contractor

14 Military Performance Division Research Teams
Epidemiology Injury Epidemiology Performance Physiology Assessment of individual capacities/training programs Endocrine control: exercise and/or environmental stress Muscle / bone function: stress fractures/bone health Mechanisms of muscle growth and injury Energy Metabolism Biomechanics Load carriage/equipment interactions Injury potential Cognitive Performance Cognitive performance: assessment Altered Cognitive Function: military operations (blast, deployment..)

15 Types of Scientists: USARIEM/MPD
Physiologists Systems Environmental Cellular Biochemists Endocrinologists Molecular biologists Cell Signaling Epidemiologists Pharmacologists Statisticians Biomedical engineers Biophysicists (modelers) Nutritionists Immunologists MDs (clinical research)

16 Academia US Gov’t/Army
Scientist: Comparison of Responsibilities Academia 1% 10% 9% 80% US Gov’t/Army 30% 10% 30% 30% Teaching Administrative Grants/ Funding Research

17 Skills Needed: Civilian Scientist in the US Army
Research Expertise Basic scientist Applied: “ real world” Function in disciplined/structured environment Ability to Communicate: oral and written Contracting/Budgeting Acquisition training, CORs, CRADA, MOU Perform under pressure: “suspense” “taskers”, briefings, reviews “DWA” (deal with acronyms !!)

18 General Schedule (GS) System Civilian Scientists
Pay ranges stipulated (GS-1 – GS-15) Competitive with University salaries Full benefits More structured Annual appointments Leave calculations (recently revised) Time monitored “Term” appointments vs “permanent” positions

19 Government Scientist “Coming in green” (active duty)
Health Professions Scholarship Program: MDs, Vet, Psych (PhD) Professional Allied/Health programs: Physical therapy (Doctoral) Occupational therapy (Doctoral) Dieticians (Masters) Physician assistants Payback ≈ 2:1

20 Army’s Scientific Workforce
GS Civilian Scientists Military Scientists / Health Professionals Contracted Scientists “in house” Collaborations “IPA” – Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement

21 Comparison: attributes of each..
Academia US Army Salaries + Appointments Tenure Contract/Term/Perm. Choice Res. Topics - * Work Requirements - - (Hours Monitored) * Resources ++ Bureaucracy Publishing Meetings/ Travel Pressure / Demands (+) (-) *Job Satisfaction * + +

22 Finding Jobs within US Gov’t/Army (MRMC-Military Operational Medicine)
Direct Inquiries and Contact with Army Research Investigators. Interactions as Professionals Meetings/conferences Societies/Editorial Boards Interaction as Collaborators Formal Government Job Announcements Websites: [general government] [Army civilians]

23 Mid-Career Transitions
Civilian Scientist Military Health Professional Contractor Research Positions: US Army / Government Very positive work environment (my perspective) There are positions (this number will be increasing) Wide variety of disciplines / skill sets Clear differences academia government environment Individual qualities / choice / time point in your career

24 “Scientific Career Opportunities in the Government and Military”
Edward J. Zambraski, Ph.D., FACSM Chief, Military Performance Division US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine Natick, MA (508) The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the author and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Army or the Department of Defense.


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