Col. Deydre S. Teyhen relinquished command of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research to Col. Clinton K. Murray on August 28 during a ceremony at Forest Glen Annex, Silver Spring, Md., hosted by Brig. Gen. Michael Talley, commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command and Fort Detrick.
“It has been an honor to serve the approximately 2,700 Soldiers, civilians and contractors that make up Team WRAIR. They have worked tirelessly to prevent, detect and treat COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic and are the latest chapter in a history of success that has helped produce half of all FDA-approved vaccines and all FDA-approved malaria prevention drugs as well as novel brain health solutions,” said Teyhen.
During Teyhen’s command tour, WRAIR aligned with U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville’s focus of “people first” because “winning matters.” To that end, in this last year alone WRAIR has one new license agreement, six invention disclosures, eight patent applications and five new patents issued.
Teyhen, a physical therapist, is the inbound director of the Military Health System Governance for the U.S. Army Office of the Surgeon General. She led the DOD’s largest biomedical research laboratory as it shifted to develop tools to prevent, detect and treat COVID-19 infection while also screening over 20,000 Soldiers for pandemic-related behavioral health concerns and studying the relationship between sleep and the immune system.
Prior to the pandemic, Teyhen led WRAIR as it developed new products to mitigate Soldier-relevant infectious diseases like malaria, HIV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and new strategies to promote behavioral health in far-forward settings.
“If you know Deydre, you know her priority is people first—and that’s a motto that’s paid off,” said Talley during his remarks. “You’ve demonstrated resilience in a very challenging assignment…and I’ve personally witnessed how your energy and enthusiasm has influenced the command on every level.”
Murray, WRAIR’s incoming Commander, was the United States Forces Korea and United Nations Command Surgeon. As a medical doctor specializing in infectious disease, he was uniquely qualified to lead USFK’s coronavirus pandemic response.
“When COVID-19 kicked in, there was once place to reach back for subject matter expertise and that was [WRAIR],” stated Murray. “It truly is humbling to be here and work with such incredible subject matter expertise…I am thrilled to forge the future with you!”
On June 29th, Command Sgt. Maj. Natasha Santiago also relinquished responsibility of WRAIR; she is heading to Fort Gordon, Ga., to serve as the command sergeant major for Eisenhower Army Medical Center. Command Sgt. Maj. Rodmond Churchill will be arriving this fall as WRAIR’s incoming command sergeant major.
Since 1893, WRAIR has been a leader in solving the most significant threats to Soldier readiness and lethality, particularly those related to infectious disease and brain health. WRAIR’s research capabilities at its headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., and laboratories around the world work in concert to afford Soldiers the best protection and support possible before, during and after deployment.