Chapter V. Basic Research
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)

2. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Research Philosophy

Relatively little of the Army's 6.1 funding in the medical area is invested directly in the development of new medical knowledge and technology. In light of the large investment of the civilian sector in basic biomedical sciences, the Army postures its medical basic research programs to exploit, rather than sustain, the medical technology base. Figure V-4 summarizes how military medical R&D programs differ from their civilian counterparts.

Figure V-4. Military versus Civilian Medical R&D

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To effectively leverage the national investment in basic biomedical research for military-unique needs, the Army's in-house and extramural medical basic research programs are intensively managed by the USAMRMC as integral components of one of the five functional areas of medical capability most critical to maintaining effective military medical technological superiority: (1) Infectious Diseases of Military Significance; (2) Combat Casualty Care; (3) Army Operational Medicine; (4) Medical Chemical Defense (see Section V.E.10); and (5) Medical Biological Defense.

The inherent complexity of the human organism requires that the biomedical knowledge base encompass a broad range of scientific and technological disciplines. It is critical that the Army maintain in-house biomedical expertise in all pertinent disciplines to maximize the benefits of "technology push," while investing in areas of specific interest to the military medical community, "requirements pull." The capabilities to effectively address military medical requirements, to design militarily useful and technologically superior medical solutions, and to rapidly transition basic R&D results into operational benefits are enhanced by the effective use of managers and decision makers who are both technically and militarily qualified. The availability of uniformed military medical scientists within the military medical R&D system has proven advantageous in ensuring that up-to-date scientific knowledge and technical capabilities are effectively translated into usable products--both for military health care providers and soldiers. Maintenance of effective dialogue with medical scientists in the civilian sector requires that the in-house staff maintain their involvement and expertise in basic medical science. Strong in-house programs of medical basic research have proven critical to maintaining the vitality of both the civil service and uniformed military investigative staff upon which future military medical advancements depend.