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Naval Medical Research Center
Naval Medical Research Center logo.PNG
The seal of the Naval Medical Research Center shows an optical microscope juxtaposed with outlines of an airplane, aircraft carrier, and submarine.
Active 1942–present
Country United States
Branch Navy
Type Research and development
Size 1600
Part of Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
Commanding Officer CAPT John W. Sanders

The Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) is an agency that performs basic and applied biomedical research to meet the needs of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. Its areas of focus include study of infectious diseases, biodefense, military medicine, battlefield medicine, and bone marrow research.[1] NMRC is under the United States Department of the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.[2]


NMRC was originally the Naval Medical Research Institute, founded in 1942, and was located on the campus of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Besides researching health and safety issues for shipboard environments, it was involved in early radiobiology research after the development of atomic weapons, astronaut training during the 1960s Space Race, as well as the establishment of the Navy Tissue Bank and the National Marrow Donor Program.[1][3]

The Navy Toxicology Unit, which had been founded in 1959 in response to air quality issues within USS Nautilus as well as toxicity concerns about replacements for flammable hydraulic fluids, was incorporated into NMRI in 1975 and moved the following year from Bethesda to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio so it could share resources with the Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory's Toxic Hazards Division.[4] The unit later became the Environmental Health Effects Laboratory at Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton.[5]

In 1998, NMRI was reorganized into the Naval Medical Research Center and became an umbrella organization for several other subordinate commands elsewhere in the nation and abroad. Since 1999, it has been located in the Forest Glen Annex in Silver Spring, Maryland. The Forest Glen Annex was originally an annex of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, but as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure process the facility was transferred to the command of Fort Detrick in 2008. NMRC occupies the Daniel K. Inouye Building, named for the late Senator Daniel Inouye, along with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.[1][3]


NMRC has 1600 employees.[6] Its main campus in Silver Spring is divided into seven directorates:[7]

  • The Administration Directorate provides direction and support to the other directorates and sets the policy required to ensure a coordinated effort in support of command requirements.
  • The Biological Defense Research Directorate researches ways to protect military personnel in the event of a biological attack.
  • The Bone Marrow Research Directorate provides military contingency support for casualties with marrow toxic injury due to radiation or chemical warfare agents.
  • The Infectious Diseases Directorate conducts research on infectious diseases that are considered to be significant threats to our deployed sailors, marines, soldiers, and airmen.
  • The Operational and Undersea Medicine Directorate conducts 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.
  • The Research Services Directorate acts as a bridge for the community's scientific investigators, and opesn NMRC scientific endeavors to research applications and developments.
  • The Resource Management Directorate advises the Commanding Officer on financial functions within the command.

The Naval Infectious Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory (NIDDL) is also located in the Silver Spring facility. NIDDL provides clinical diagnostic laboratory services for active military and their families worldwide, specializing in less-common diseases not covered by the standard military treatment facilities of the Military Health System.[8]

NMRC also has eight subordinate commands:[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Fort Detrick 2010 Post Guide". U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. 2010. pp. 6–9. Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  2. "Navy Medicine Facilities and Commands". Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Chiarella, Donald (2005). History of Naval Medicine. p. 89. ISBN 9781411659339. // 
  4. National Research Council (1994). Review of the U.S. Naval Medical Research Institute's Toxicology Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. pp. 14–17. ISBN 9780309572828. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  5. "Environmental Health Effects Laboratory Command History". U.S. Naval Medical Research Center. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  6. "About NMRC". U.S. Naval Medical Research Center. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  7. "NMRC Directorates". U.S. Naval Medical Research Center. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  8. "Naval Infectious Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory". U.S. Naval Medical Research Center. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  9. "NMRC Subordinate Commands". U.S. Naval Medical Research Center. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 

External links

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