ECBC Shares Expertise and Expands Research Relationships at CBD S&T Conference
CCDC Chemical Biological Center Public Affairs | December 6th, 2017
ECBC engineer Matt Brown (center) discusses the Rapid Area Sensitive-Site Reconnaissance Advanced Technology Demonstration technology with conference attendees.
Seventy ECBC researchers gave presentations and participated in poster sessions with more than 1,600 of their chemical biological defense colleagues at this year’s Chemical Biological Defense Science and Technology (CBD S&T) Conference, organized by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) held at Long Beach, California Nov. 28 through 30.
Attendees in the CBD enterprise included other government organizations, industry, academia and allied nations, who were able to learn about the role of ECBC researchers’ in improving warfighter readiness through ECBC’s advanced research. ECBC researchers covered topics ranging from protective armor coatings to battlefield sensing to pharmaceutical-based agents.
“Every two years, the entire chemical biological defense enterprise converges in a single place,” said Peter Emanuel, Ph.D., senior research scientist for bioengineering at the U.S. Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC). “And in a multidisciplinary field where nothing is achieved alone, this venue provides an opportunity for our researchers to share their ideas and their research with their peers from all over the world.”
“This conference is invaluable to us,” said Jason Guicheteau, Ph.D., an ECBC research chemist. “We get to talk face-to-face with our research partners at DTRA, the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical Biological Defense, and our international research partners. I’ve been able to have conversations with four of my customer organization program managers. It’s good for the CBD enterprise and it’s good for ECBC.”
Trevor Glaros, Ph.D., an ECBC research scientist who presented his latest research at the conference, agreed.
“Getting even five minutes of one-on-one conversation with a program manager is very valuable,” he said. “We get to find out the kind of research they’re really interested in through a casual conversation.”
The ECBC researchers’ presentations were in tune with DTRA’s theme for the conference – innovation.
“What does DTRA Chemical Biological do?” Ron Hann, Ph.D., director of the Chemical/Biological Technologies Department for DTRA, asked the audience in the conference kickoff speech. “Recognize the pace of technological change and keep up with it so we can effectively protect the warfighter and the first responder.”
He cited such examples as synthetic genetic vaccines to respond to pandemics such as Ebola in West Africa, deploying a cloud-based platform to identify emerging threats by tapping into social media and open source platforms as well as traditional government surveillance systems, and adapting advances such as the Fitbit into wearable sensors for the warfighter.
Hann concluded by asking the scientists in the audience to, “Imagine big, chance failure, and achieve great breakthroughs.”
The conference also allows ECBC researchers to pursue their personal development as chemical biological defense researchers.
“Giving our employees an opportunity to meet with peers and find new opportunities for collaboration is a real benefit of the conference for us,” said Nicole Rosenzweig, Ph.D., chief of ECBC’s Biosciences Division. “It helps them to develop their presentation skills and effectively communicate their research ideas, things that take practice.”
ECBC molecular toxicologist Jennifer Sekowski, Ph.D., found a new opportunity for collaboration with the Netherlands Organization, ECBC’s Dutch counterpart, at the conference.
“I was able to initiate a new collaboration on wearable sensors with them because they were right there. I didn’t have to go to the Netherlands to have a special meeting with them,” she said. “The great thing about this conference is you can run into people like that having coffee and get an immediate reaction to your ideas.”
To see all of ECBC’s posters and/or presentations from the CBD S&T Conference visit: https://www.cbc.ccdc.army.mil/cbdstconference