Biological Sciences

Molecular Genetics

Dr. Micheline Strand
(919) 549-4343

This program emphasizes basic research in molecular genetics and genomics that will enable optimization of Soldier cognitive and physical performance, Soldier protection, and Army logistics. This includes human performance and protection under normal conditions and when affected by a variety of stressors that are likely to be encountered in battlefield situations, such as dehydration, heat, cold, sleep deprivation, fatigue, caloric insufficiency, microbial factors, and psychological stress. Genetic and genomic research areas include identification and characterization of gene function, gene regulation, genetic interactions, gene pathways, gene expression patterns, mitochondrial regulation and biogenesis, and nuclear and mitochondrial DNA replication, mutagenesis, oxidative stress, and DNA repair.


Dr. Stephanie McElhinny
(919) 549-4240

This program focuses on fundamental studies in biochemistry, structural biology, cell biology, and biophysics that will facilitate the development of novel systems and processes to enhance Soldier protection and performance. Research areas include biomolecular self-assembly, molecular recognition, protein and nucleic acid structure-function relationships, enzymology, signal transduction, cell-cell communication, macromolecular structure, and synthetic biology. This program also supports basic research in biomolecular power and energy generation, sensing capabilities of biomolecules and cells, protein engineering for novel or enhanced enzymatic function, and structural studies of molecular and macromolecular organization for novel materials or surfaces.


Dr. Robert Kokoska
(919) 549-4342

This program supports fundamental studies in microbial physiology, genetics, ecology, and evolution. These studies include research to elucidate antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, microbial community interactions, communications and population dynamics, studies of organisms that are not culturable, studies of organisms at the single-cell level and studies of organisms that have adapted to extreme environments. Areas of special concern to the Army include methods to enhance stabilization of materiel and to prevent microbial growth. Also included is the development and exploitation of microbial systems for unique biotechnological applications and bioengineering processes. This might include approaches such as synthetic biology or protein evolution and use of individual microbial species or consortia of microorganisms, emphasizing the control, stability, and mechanisms of the basic cellular processes involved. Other research areas that will be considered include studies of the biochemical and physiological mechanisms underlying the biodegradative processes in normal, extreme, and engineered environments, fundamental studies on organisms in these environments, the properties of materials that make them susceptible or resistant to biological attack, basic concepts for antifungals, and studies of microbiological mechanisms with potential for contributing to the remediation of sites contaminated with toxic wastes.

Neurophysiology and Cognitive Neuroscience

Dr. Frederick Gregory
(919) 549-4318

Research areas of interest in this program include studies in the perception and cognition subfields of neurophysiology and the cognitive neurosciences, covering several or all areas of electrophysiology, psychophysiology, sensory and perceptual physiology, computational neurobiology, psychophysics, neuropsychology, and integrative neurobiology. Specific examples can include physiological, neuropsychological and/or cortical/cognitive mechanisms underlying successful completion of complex task behaviors applicable to nonlaboratory environments under nonideal conditions, to include amelioration of induced losses as well as enhancement in defined perceptual, cognitive and/or motor abilities. Investigations can span the gamut from multiunit recordings through evoked potentials and neuroimaging technologies to humoral and psychological correlates of both central and peripheral nervous system function. Nonmedically oriented research in both human volunteers and animal models designed to elucidate the fundamental physiology underlying cognition and possible noninvasive methods of monitoring cognitive states and processes during normal activity is appropriate. Perceptual and/or psychophysiological implications of mind-machine interfaces ranging from optimizing auditory, visual and/or somatosensory display and control systems based on physiological or psychological states through modeling of individual cognitive dynamics and decision making is appropriate to this research area.


Last Update / Reviewed: January 20, 2015