2. Medical Chemical Defense Research (United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, Germany)
Description: The Medical Chemical Defense Research Program involves cooperative efforts between the United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, Germany, and other nations in developing methods to protect the soldier from chemical warfare agents. These nations are using the latest medical information and techniques for these developments.
Justification: Current efforts include research into pretreatments, antidotes, and medical therapies. X-ray crystallographic analytical techniques have been employed to elucidate the structure of acetylcholinesterase. This achievement supports mechanistic studies in understanding the actions of nerve agents as well as development of molecular approaches to a countermeasure. In addition, molecular biochemical techniques are being used to mutate genes to produce variants of human acetylcholinesterase and butylcholinesterase. This will improve understanding of nerve agent mechanisms of action and identification of prophylaxes for nerve agents.
Dr. Rodney Smith
Army Materiel Command
5001 Eisenhower Blvd
Alexandria, VA 22333-0001