Eric L. Moore, Ph.D., CCDC Chemical Biological Center Director

Eric L. Moore, Ph.D., is the director of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (DEVCOM CBC), the only chemical and biological defense technology center of its kind. He is a member of the Senior Executive Service and is an expert in chemical and biological defense and medical countermeasures. Prior to his selection as Center director in October 2017, Moore served in various roles at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency including chief of the Advanced and Emerging Threat Division, chief of the Basic and Supporting Sciences Division and senior science and technology manager for chemical medical countermeasures.

Director’s Message: Diligence Pays Dividends in Battle vs COVID-19

Director’s Message: Diligence Pays Dividends in Battle vs COVID-19

By Eric L. Moore, Ph.D., Director, DEVCOM CBC

Cum Scientia Defendimus – With Science We Defend. These words have long embodied the spirit of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (DEVCOM CBC).

Never have they been more relevant than today.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world’s attention to science and to the seemingly miraculous results it can generate. While science can achieve miracles, those miracles are made possible by years, sometimes decades, of research and data collection quietly performed by some of the world’s best minds.

Although nobody knew specifically that COVID-19 would occur, we at DEVCOM CBC were already researching and preparing for the possibility of a biological incident, human caused or naturally occurring. Our experts have been tracking and researching the implications of biological pandemic events, and they are the science and technology experts on personal protective equipment, decontamination and additive manufacturing. So the moment the pandemic started, we were ready to help the Nation respond.

The first step in helping our partners and ensuring the readiness of our armed forces was to ensure the safety of our workforce. Our staff and directorates came together very early in the crisis to make sure we had the capabilities and protective measures in place. We more than tripled our telework capability to allow the majority of our workforce to perform their duties remotely, and we rapidly adopted protective measures for those employees who continued to work on site at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Rock Island Arsenal, Pine Bluff Arsenal and Dugway Proving Ground.

With that protection in place, our workforce was able to support the readiness of U.S. forces in the face of the pandemic. We supported the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) in the deployment of mobile laboratories to Camp Ripley, Minnesota to provide COVID-19 testing for Soldiers deploying to the National Training Center. We also worked with JPEO-CBRND to support the Air Force with the Negatively Pressurized CONEX – a transportation system that can accommodate up to 30 COVID-19 patients aboard a C-17 transport jet. In addition, we developed surface decontamination techniques that members of our armed forces and first responders can use in the field to decontaminate personal protective equipment, vehicles, military equipment, buildings and other surfaces.

We’ve been designated as the first stop for the assessment of candidate Defense Department-made N95 respirators. We test them before they go to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for certification, and before they are distributed to warfighters and first responders. Our subject matter experts were sought out by Army, DoD, and commercial organizations to consult on NIOSH regulations for personal protective equipment. Within the Center, our filtration and additive manufacturing experts have joined forces to support projects to fabricate filters and create novel designs such as clear masks to enable facial recognition and better communication.

We also continue to work on new ideas and technologies in the Nation’s continuing fight against the pandemic. We’ve partnered with the University of Pennsylvania to train dogs to safely detect biomarkers produced by the COVID-19 virus in humans. So far, the dogs have demonstrated a success rate of more than 98 percent, and this work could lead to a cadre of trained dogs that could be used to screen Soldiers at military processing centers or at the military academies. We’ve also received Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for lung-on-a-chip research using our Biosafety Level 3 containment facilities. This research will help us better understand how the novel coronavirus attacks human lung cells, which will aid in identifying protective measures and preventative medicines.

We recognized early on that sharing our expertise and technology with other organizations and leveraging the expertise of others would be critical to our success, so we set up key partnerships to support the COVID-19 response effort across government, industry and academia. We continue to work with hundreds of partners to explore how our technologies can be adapted to support this all-of-Nation effort.

We can do all this because of the expertise of our workforce, and because of the investments we’ve made in our technology infrastructure over decades. That is how we are able to defend our warfighters, our first responders and our nation. Cum Scientia Defendimus – With Science We Defend, is more than just a motto. It’s why DEVCOM CBC exists.

People first — winning matters — Army strong!

Eric L. Moore, Ph.D., is the director of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (DEVCOM CBC), the only chemical and biological defense technology center of its kind. He is a member of the Senior Executive Service and is an expert in chemical and biological defense and medical countermeasures. Prior to his selection as Center director in October 2017, Moore served in various roles at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency including chief of the Advanced and Emerging Threat Division, chief of the Basic and Supporting Sciences Division and senior science and technology manager for chemical medical countermeasures.