Maj. Alicia Cawlfield, DVM
Attending Veterinarian
Eisenhower Army Medical Center

Through the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, the Department of Defense sponsors and funds biomedical research to advance military medical care.

The Command manages and executes research in five basic areas: military infectious diseases, combat casualty care, military operational medicine, chemical biological defense and clinical and rehabilitative medicine. Here at Eisenhower Army Medical Center's Department of Clinical Investigation, medical research focuses mostly on combat casualty care, medical training, and clinical and rehabilitative medicine.

By establishing working relationships with DCI staff, including a specially trained veterinarian, and under the oversight of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and the Institutional Review Board, physicians are able to turn real-world health topics of interest among our local beneficiary population into research projects. Topics include diabetes, periodontal diseases and sports injuries.

Using DCI resources, physicians are empowered to conduct pre-clinical and clinical studies to improve human health, and advance medical and surgical care.

Examples include, in the realm of combat casualty care and operational medicine, by using a blast simulator, researchers here are able to develop lifesaving strategies specifically related to blast exposures and injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Surgeons can also use animal models, simulators and tissue cultures to research life-saving measures and improved surgical procedures for combat trauma. Using a specially-designed hypobaric chamber, researchers simulate high-altitude conditions and design an animal model to develop strategies to predict, recognize and mitigate high-altitude sickness in our warfighters to maximize their effectiveness.

Perhaps the greatest research endeavor at DCI is in medical training. The DCI supports all of the Graduate Medical Education residency programs by supporting their medical education and research requirements.

The DCI staff and resources make possible numerous research projects ranging from molecular to pre-clinical and clinical studies.

The DCI Comparative Medicine Service supports all the pre-clinical animal research programs, and the vivarium proudly maintains its full accreditation by the AAALAC International since 1996.

The IRB has also enabled hundreds of clinical research projects at EAMC and in coordination with other institutions to advance clinical care.