Army opens new CBRNE research facility

The U.S. Army recently unveiled a new shared resource meant to support applied and basic research projects related to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive issues.

The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense and the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center officially launched the Proteomics Core Facility on October 10. The resource will be used to support the Defense Threat Reduction Agency/Joint Science and Technological Chemical and Biological Defense Program along with the missions of the two institutions to prevent soldiers from biological and chemical agents.

The organizations will support sponsored research in the facility related to whole transcriptome analysis, expression analysis, microRNA and whole genomic sequencing and finishing. The facility meets a need for both the MRICD and ECBC.

"Rather than duplicate the capabilities, why not build them in one joint facility?" Jennifer Sekowski, the ECBC lead for standing up the facility, said. "Having a combined Genomics and Proteomics Core now allows us to more easily share our resources, provide new training opportunities, and expand the amount and type of research we both can do."

Scientists with the two institutions worked together for more than a year to build the facility, which is located in the McNamara Life Sciences Building at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.

"The fact that two organizations came together to build a joint capability is a wonderful testament to the true spirit of collaboration in support of common scientific research, and I hope that this serves as a great example for other installations," Bruce Schoneboom, an MRICD commander, said. "I am very excited to see the great strides the talented MRICD and ECBC staff will take in proteomics and genomics research."

The ECBC is the principal research and development resource in the nation for non-medical biological and chemical defense. The MRICD is the leading technology and science laboratory in the area of medical chemical countermeasures development and research.