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NMRC Researchers Participate in National Museum of Health and Medicine STEM Initiative, Brain Awareness Week 2017
Released: 3/28/2017

From Naval Medical Research Center Public Affairs
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NMRC Operational and Undersea Medicine Directorate (OUMD) researchers Lt. Cmdr. Peter Walker, Dr. Anna Tschiffely, and Jonathan Statz, participated in the National Museum of Health and Medicine's annual Brain Awareness Week and highlighted research being done in OUMD laboratory’s relating to blast injuries and monitoring brain activity


SILVER SPRING, Md. – Researchers from the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) participated in the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) Annual Brain Awareness Week, March 16. Brain Awareness Week is one of the museum’s central efforts to support the Department of Defense (DoD) Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) workforce development initiatives.

NMRC Operational and Undersea Medicine Directorate (OUMD) researchers Lt. Cmdr. Peter Walker, Dr. Anna Tschiffely, and Jonathan Statz, participated in the event and highlighted research being done in OUMD laboratory’s relating to blast injuries and monitoring brain activity.

“The engagement of the children during the event is really important to us,” said Walker. He continued, “It helps to highlight how an interest in science and technology can be applied in assisting in the care of our Warfighters. Often times children may view a career in science as limited to just academia or industry; we wanted to demonstrate there are opportunities to become a career scientist assisting in areas important to the DoD.”

From the moment the middle and high school aged children from all over the Washington, D.C. metro area walk through the museum doors, they are immersed in a world of science and medicine. The event included several hands-on stations allowing the children to learn about the brain’s functions, brain disorders and the concept that outside forces can impact the brain.

“We even brought some flak jackets for the kids to try on, if it didn’t weigh more than them,” joked Tschiffely. Flak jackets are a form of protective body armor worn by the warfighter to provide protection from explosives.

“This was a tremendously enjoyable event, it’s really rewarding to get to meet some of the other scientists working in related fields, who were also participating in the event, but the most rewarding part is spending time with the children. This is my third year at the event, and interacting with the students never gets old,” said Walker.

NMHM is a DoD museum established in the Civil War and home to one of the world’s most comprehensive neuroanatomical collections, and features an entire exhibit on traumatic brain injury. The museum is classified as a National Historic Landmark recognized for its ongoing value to the health of the military and the nation since 1862.

OUMD’s mission is to conduct medical research, development, testing and evaluation to develop new information and technologies to enhance the health, safety, performance and deployment readiness of Navy and Marine Corps personnel. OUMD consists of three departments: Neurotrauma, Undersea Medicine, and Regenerative Medicine.
Naval Medical Research and Development