WHAT WE DO

The Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) optimizes the operational readiness and health of our armed forces by conducting research, development, testing, and evaluation to inform Department of Defense (DoD) policy. We have been designated the DoD Deployment Health Research Center since 1999. We conduct science that spans the spectrum from physical readiness to joint medical planning, to wounded warrior recovery and behavioral health interventions, all focusing on the health, readiness, and well-being of our nation’s military members and their families. We conduct research that is operationally relevant and driven by fleet requirements. Our core research areas include Operational Readiness and Health, Military Population Health, and Operational Infectious Diseases. We are one of eight laboratories affiliated with the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, within the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. Together, we support military mission readiness with research and development that delivers high-value, high-impact solutions to the health and readiness challenges our military population faces on the battlefield, at sea, on foreign shores, and at home.

 

OUR MISSION

To optimize operational readiness and warfighter health by informing DoD policy through research excellence.

OUR VISION

To be the premier deployment health research center for the DoD.


WHO WE ARE

NHRC’s team includes researchers and scientists whose expertise includes physiology, microbiology, biomedical engineering, psychology, epidemiology, and software engineering. Our staff is a mix of active duty service members, federal civil service employees, and contractors who are dedicated to our vision of being the DoD’s premier operational health research center.

WHERE WE ARE

We are located aboard Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, California, with access to more than 95,000 uniformed service members, world-class universities, industry leaders, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Naval Medical Center San Diego, and Navy Medicine West. Housed in 24 historic WWII-era military barracks, our San Diego location is ideal, placing us in proximity to a variety of potential research populations.


CO

COMMANDING OFFICER

Captain Dennis J. Faix

Medical Service Corps, United States Navy
Commanding Officer
Naval Health Research Center


CAPT Faix graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1996, and completed a 3-year tour as a General Medical Officer with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, 1st Marine Air Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Iwakuni, Japan in 2000. Dr. Faix then obtained a Master in Public Health from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences with emphases in Health Care Administration and Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

In 2002, after graduating from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Preventive Medicine Residency, Dr. Faix was stationed at Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit-FIVE, San Diego, CA where he deployed as Officer in Charge of a Forward Deployed Preventive Medicine Unit in Al Asad, Iraq, performing theater-wide public health support for DoD personnel.

From 2006-2012 he was assigned to the Department of Respiratory Disease Research, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA where he led surveillance and research efforts for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of operationally relevant infectious diseases such as adenovirus, influenza and norovirus. He was instrumental in NHRC's contribution to the FDA-approval and reestablishment of the adenovirus vaccine among all military recruits, and in the identification of the first two cases of pandemic H1N1 influenza and the national response to the pandemic.

CAPT Faix deployed to Baghdad, Iraq as an individual augmentee and served as the theater Preventive Medicine consultant for Operation Iraqi Freedom for 8 months in 2008. Dr. Faix was then seconded to the World Health Organization where he worked in Alert and Response Operations, Division of Communicable Disease, Health Security, and Environment at the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe as the WHO/Europe advocate and liaison for civil-military interaction, specifically working in public health surveillance and capacity building in member states under the International Health Regulations (2005) and in support of the Global Health Security Agenda. From 2014-2017 he served as the Director of Military Population Health at the Naval Health Research Center, and was the principal investigator of the Millennium Cohort Study, the largest prospective cohort study in military history.

Subsequently Dr. Faix served as the head of Clinical Research for Navy Medical Research Unit-TWO, Phnom Penh, Cambodia from 2017-2019 where his research interests included the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of operationally relevant health issues with the goal of keeping service members and their families healthy.

In 2019 CAPT Faix reported as the Executive Officer to Navy Medical Research Unit Dayton in support of its mission to protect and optimize the readiness, performance, and survivability of the naval and joint warfighter by conducting operationally relevant environmental health effects, toxicology, and aerospace medical research.
 

XO

EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Captain Matthew H. Jamerson, Ph.D.

Medical Service Corps, United States Navy
Executive Officer
Naval Health Research Center


Captain Matthew Hunter Jamerson, a native Marylander, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Drexel University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences.  In 2003, he earned his Ph.D. in Tumor Biology, an interdisciplinary program encompassing Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, from Georgetown University.  His dissertation focused on the role of genes in the development and natural history of breast cancer using genetically-engineered mice as tumor models.  Prior to joining the Navy, his work experiences included serving as an Acoustical Engineering Aide in the Sonar Self-Noise Group at the former David Taylor Naval Research Center in West Bethesda, Maryland, and serving as a Research Assistant Scientist in the Reproductive Toxicology Group at the former SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals in Swedeland, Pennsylvania.  In October 2003, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps as a Biochemist.
         
Following Officer Indoctrination School, then LT Jamerson was assigned to the Navy Drug Screening Laboratory (NDSL) in Great Lakes, Illinois.  During his tour at this forensic drug testing laboratory supporting the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command and the Navy’s enlisted training pipelines, he served as the Quality Control Department Head, the Assistant Technical Director, and the Operations Officer. 
         
In December 2006, LT Jamerson reported to the Division of Forensic Toxicology, Armed Forced Medical Examiner System (AFMES), in Rockville, Maryland, where he served as the Chief of Technical Services and Chief of Quality Assurance.  His work there ensured that toxicological results for military post-mortem and criminal investigative cases were achieved under relevant accreditation standards and were legally-defensible.
         
In August 2009, LT Jamerson reported to NDSL Jacksonville as the Executive Officer and, in March 2010, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  While there, he directed the administrative, financial, materiel, and technical operations of a million-specimen-per-year, forensic drug testing laboratory supporting Sailors, Marines and Soldiers in the eastern half of the United States and the SOUTHCOM, EUCOM and AFRICOM AORs.
         
In August 2012, LCDR Jamerson reported to NDSL San Diego as the Executive Officer.  While there, he directed the administrative, financial, materiel, and technical operations of a million-specimen-per-year, forensic drug testing laboratory supporting Sailors and Marines in the western half of the United States and the INDOPACOM and CENTCOM AORs.  Following successful command screening, LCDR Jamerson assumed command of NDSL San Diego in September 2014 and, in September 2016, he was promoted to the rank of Commander.  He served as the NDSL San Diego Commanding Officer through that command’s dis-establishment on 1 February 2017 and then served as the Senior Officer for that command’s decommissioning completed in October 2017.  In April 2017, he was appointed by the Navy Surgeon General as the Navy’s Biochemistry / Toxicology Community Specialty Leader – a role he held until 2020.
         
In October 2017, CDR Jamerson reported to the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) as Director for Laboratory Services (with oversight for both the Navy Bloodborne Infection Management Center and the Naval Dosimetry Center) and as the DON Drug Testing Program Manager (overseeing two remaining NDSLs). 
         
In June 2020, CDR Jamerson reported to the Naval Health Research Center, the DoD’s deployment health research hub, as the Executive Officer; in September 2021, he was promoted to the rank of Captain.  At NHRC, he oversees administrative, financial, and materiel operations of this 350+ member laboratory focused on research and development in the fields of operational readiness, military population health, and infectious diseases. 
         
CAPT Jamerson is an author on 13 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, one book chapter, and 10 abstracts / posters.  He has previously served as an Inspector for the National Laboratory Certification Program and as a peer-reviewer for the following scientific journals: Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, Cancer Research, Oncogene, and the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  He was a National Merit Scholar, a Maryland Distinguished Scholar, and an Anthony J. Drexel Scholar. 
         
CAPT Jamerson’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (4 awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards), and the Expert Pistol Medal.

 

PRINCIPAL DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH

Dr. Kenneth C. Earhart

Principal Director of Research
Naval Health Research Center

Dr. Kenneth C. “Ken” Earhart is the Science Director and senior civilian at the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC), located on Naval Base Point Loma, San Diego, California. NHRC is part of the U.S. Navy’s medical research and development enterprise and is the Department of Defense’s Center for Deployment Health Research, carrying out a diverse portfolio focused on the health and readiness of our armed forces and their families.

A native of Michigan, Earhart holds an M.D. from Wayne State University and a B.S. from Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University. He studied at Konan University, in Kobe, Japan, and at the Naval Undersea Medical Institute in Groton, Connecticut. He trained in internal medicine, infectious diseases and tropical medicine at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD).

Earhart has spent a career in public service, working in health care, health research and global health. During his 22 years as a medical officer in the U.S. Navy, he was assigned to Submarine Group 7/CTF-74, in Yokosuka, Japan as the 7th Fleet diving and submarine medical officer; NMCSD as a member of the teaching faculty, head of the travel medicine clinic, and assistant program director and IRB chair; USNS Mercy (TAH-19) as clinical staff and officer in charge, chemical biological response team; U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Cairo, Egypt, as deputy director and director disease surveillance program, director viral and zoonotic diseases research program, executive officer and commanding officer, where he led infectious disease research operations throughout the Middle East, Eastern Europe, North and West Africa, and Central Asia.

Following retirement from the U.S. Navy, he served as the founding director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Global Disease Detection (GDD) Regional Center in New Delhi, India, from 2010 to 2014, where he was also CDC’s country director and helped establish and jointly direct the GDD India Centre, a partnership between the U.S. CDC and India’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to address emerging and re-emerging diseases in South Asia.

Prior to joining NHRC in 2016, Earhart served as the U.S. health attaché to China. As a health diplomat posted to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, he represented the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, served as the senior public health advisor to the ambassador, and worked to advance collaboration at the policy level for U.S.-China health engagement, including the first historic agreement between the U.S. and China on development cooperation, focusing on joint public health capacity building in Africa.

Earhart has published over 70 peer–reviewed, scientific articles and numerous presentations. He received distinguished alumni awards from his alma maters Lyman Briggs College (2009 as commencement speaker) and Michigan State University (2011).

His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. He was also awarded the Chevalier de l`Ordre National du 27 Juin Medal by the Président of Djibouti.
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