The Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) acting director for Research and Development, Sean Biggerstaff, left, is greeted by Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) commanding officer, Capt. Marshall Monteville, right, during a recent visit to the command. Biggerstaff is responsible for prioritizing and integrating DHA medical research, development, and acquisition programs across the Military Health System. His directorate also fosters strategic partnerships and transitions medical discoveries to deployable products to enhance the readiness of the military community. During the visit, Biggerstaff learned how NHRC’s mission aligns with DHA’s priorities to improve the health and readiness of U.S. warfighters. (U.S. Navy photo by Regena Kowitz/Released)
SAN DIEGO – The Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) acting director for Research and Development, Sean Biggerstaff, got an in-depth look at the work being done at the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) to support warfighter health and readiness, Oct. 25.
During his visit to NHRC, Biggerstaff met with command leadership and scientists to learn more about the specific studies and projects being conducted in each of NHRC’s core research areas—Operational Readiness and Health, Military Population Health, and Operational Infectious Diseases.
“NHRC has a unique set of research capabilities and a diverse group of scientists, enabling us to provide bench to battlefield solutions to the health and readiness challenges our warfighters face,” said Capt. Marshall Monteville, NHRC’s commanding officer. “
Biggerstaff is responsible for prioritizing and integrating DHA medical research, development, and acquisition programs across the Military Health System, fostering strategic partnerships, and transitioning medical discoveries to deployable products to enhance the readiness of the military community.
“NHRC’s motto is ‘readiness through research’,” said Monteville. “We use science to improve the health, resilience, and survivability of U.S. warfighters, all of which align with DHA’s priorities for research and development.”
Research expertise at NHRC includes:
Human performance optimization and rehabilitation
Behavioral health interventions
Longitudinal epidemiological research
Medical informatics and data analytics
Infectious diseases surveillance and outbreak response
“Having all of these capabilities in one location increases the depth and breadth of research possibilities that can deliver the bench to battlefield solutions our warfighters need to maintain their operational readiness,” said Monteville.
In addition to NHRC’s expertise, the center is the Department of Defense’s only medical research center on the West Coast and is located just a short distance from a major military medical center, a naval hospital, several Marine Corps bases, numerous fleet resources, and a recruit training command.
“Looking to the future, it’s critical that we maintain service-specific research capabilities,” said Biggerstaff. “The research being conducted by NHRC, and your presence in your current location, is a unique Navy capability that I don’t see replicated somewhere else.
According to Monteville, NHRC’s Southern California location places scientists near several different types of operational units, allowing researchers to keep their pulse on the readiness needs of fleet and ground forces and align research with mission requirements.
“As we look at the readiness and health of our warfighters, it’s important to maintain and support those research capabilities that meet the distinct needs of Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, and Airmen,” said Biggerstaff.
As the DoD’s premier deployment health research center, NHRC’s cutting-edge research and development is used to optimize the operational health and readiness of the nation’s armed forces. In proximity to more than 95,000 active duty service members, world-class universities, and industry partners, NHRC sets the standard in joint ventures, innovation, and translational research.