Wednesday, January 6, 2016

USNA Midshipman Interns With Naval Medical Research Unit in Peru

Courtesy of Lt. Cmdr. Craig Stoops, U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6

Naval Academy Midshipman 2nd Class Nicole Hadler recently took part in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiative in Peru, hosted by Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6 (NAMRU-6).

MIDN Nicole Hadler gives a scientific seminar on spatial repellents and spatial
repellent research in Iquitos, Peru during the NAMRU-6 scientific seminar series.
(Photo courtesy of Lt. Cmdr. Craig Stoops)

NAMRU-6 is in a unique position to provide comprehensive research exposure to aspiring scientists in Peru. With more than 200 scientists and technicians conducting numerous ongoing projects, students interested in biology and in scientific research or medicine get to see up close how research on infectious diseases is conducted.

Hadler split her time between Lima and the NAMRU-6 site in Iquitos, attaining a detailed look at tropical diseases rarely seen in the United States. With Peruvian Navy Doctors, she interacted with Peruvian soldiers who contracted Leishmaniasis on deployment and saw how medicine is conducted in facilities in a developing nation such as Peru.

In Iquitos, she interacted with the Dengue teams, collecting mosquitoes and while simultaneously developing a thorough understanding how the Dengue virus is transmitted. NAMRU-6’s mission is to conduct research to develop ways to protect U.S. military personnel from infectious diseases at the same time NAMRU-6 makes every effort to inspire the next generation of scientists and physicians.

“My objectives for this training were to become familiar with the research at NAMRU-6 to gain a better understanding of the infectious diseases common to this part of the world and to continue to improve my cultural awareness and language proficiency from my daily interactions with the patients and local healthcare workers,” said Hadler.

After four weeks with NAMRU and the local hospitals Hadler was impressed by the extent to which the program fulfilled those objectives.

“One of the best parts about this experience was witnessing the unconditional passion that every doctor, nurse, technician, and researcher at this institution possesses with regards to their particular research cause or study,” she said. “On a daily basis they selflessly devote 100 percent of their time and energy, working towards preventing and/or treating a wide variety of infectious diseases that are prevalent among the local people.”

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