An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

BACKGROUND

Chronic stress is a leading military health concern. Its physiological consequences have a detrimental impact on warfighter health, well-being, and performance, which ultimately influences individual and unit readiness. Using cutting-edge tools like genetics and salivary biomarkers, the Biobehavioral Sciences Lab (BSL) conducts research to better understand the relationship between physical and psychological stressors, gene–environment interactions, and how to increase warfighter readiness.

VALUE

The BSL team includes physiologists, nutritionists, and sports psychologists who collaborate to:

  • Develop resilience-building strategies by identifying factors that influence individual responses to physical and psychological stress
  • Provide a scientific foundation for military training programs by conducting controlled studies of elite warfighters
  • Preserve warfighter performance by investigating individual differences in genetic disposition, hormone profile, physical fitness, dietary habits, and coping skills that may buffer the effects of stress

GOALS

To improve warfighter readiness by identifying factors that mitigate chronic stress exposure, and to translate our research findings into actionable intelligence for military leaders to support policy and programming decisions.

CAPABILITIES

The BSL scientifically evaluates physical and psychological factors associated with stress and resilience.
Research capabilities include:
 
  • Survey administration to capture health behaviors, physical health history, psychological health, and blast exposure
  • Using salivary bioscience to develop genetic and hormonal profiles and to measure biological age
  • Cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health assessments
  • Psychometric scale development and validation

 

RESEARCH

  • Genetic and environmental forces shape human functional movement
  • Combat and blast exposure blunt sympathetic nervous system response to acute exercise stress
  • Blast exposure interacts with genetic predisposition to predict posttraumatic stress
  • Genetic risk for major depression and suicidal ideation is mitigated by physical activity

Guidance-Card-Icon Dept-Exclusive-Card-Icon