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Commanding Officer

CDR Jenifer Scancella, Ph.D., USN
Commander Jenifer Scancella earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  

Her first tour of duty was at the Navy Drug Screening Laboratory (NDSL), San Diego, where she held numerous positions from Executive Officer to Assistant Laboratory Director. She was also a fully certified Expert Witness providing expert testimony on NDSL – San Diego laboratory results. 
CDR Scancella then served as the Department Head in Laboratory Services for Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit (NEPMU) - FIVE also in San Diego earning her an Additional Qualification Designation (AQD) in Forward Deployed Preventive Medicine Unit (FDPMU) as a team member and expert in Chemical and Biological Weapon detection.

Next, she served as a Biochemist Researcher at the Navy’s Corporate Lab, the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC where she obtained her Level II certification in Science and Technology Management from the Defense Acquisition University.
She then served as the Assistant Officer in Charge at NEPMU – TWO in Norfolk, VA, and as the Biochemist assigned to the FDPMU Team.  Her other duties included Directory of the Comprehensive Industrial Hygiene Laboratory and Microbiology Laboratory Division Officer.

Her personal decorations include four Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medals and two Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

Executive Officer

​LCDR Theron C. Hamilton, Ph.D., USN
LCDR Hamilton received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Brown University in 2007 followed by a post-doc in Brown University’s Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry Department to study mechanisms and molecular structures generated from site-specific genetic recombination in via Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer.
He was commissioned into the U.S. Navy in 2009 and assigned to the Navy’s Drug Lab in San Diego, CA as the Deputy Director of Operations; Chief, Expert Witness Program; and Chief, Scientific Support and Education. His limited research opportunities there focused on novel solid phase extraction techniques for the isolation and chemical analysis of illicit and pharmaceutical drugs in biofluids.
That tour was followed by an academic appointment as assistant professor of chemistry at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. His research at U.S.N.A. focused on developing analytical GC-MS-EI SIM techniques for improving the detection of certain pharmaceutical compounds in service member samples.
LCDR Hamilton’s most-recent assignment consisted of two critical duties. His first and primary duty was as head of the Genomics & Bioinformatics Department at Naval Medical Research Center’s – Biological Defense Research Directorate (NMRC-BDRD). The 35-person-strong department (Officers, scientists, graduate students, and technicians) applied so-called next generation sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics to the study of infectious diseases, national biodefense, and global disease surveillance for early pathogen detection and response, as well as the development of novel bacteriophage therapies for multi-drug-resistant bacterial infections in humans. His second duty at BDRD was as a Team Leader of a deployable, highly-mobile laboratory assisting DoD and USG partners with biodefense missions and public health threat response.

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