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    NAMRU-Dayton bids farewell to senior researcher after 30 years of service

    NAMRU-Dayton bids farewell to senior researcher after 30 years of service

    Photo By Olivia Titer | Dr. J. Lynn Caldwell receives a service award during a Naval Medical Research Unit...... read more read more



    Story by Zachary Wilson 

    Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton

    Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton came together to bid farewell to a senior scientist with over 30 years of government service Feb. 23 in the Dibley Conference Room.

    The Command recognized the achievement and service of Dr. J. Lynn Caldwell during a retirement ceremony where numerous awards and certificates were presented in front of friends and colleagues. Dr. Caldwell served as the senior research psychologist with the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory (NAMRL), primarily working within the field of sleep and fatigue studies. She has worked at NAMRU-Dayton since 2012.

    “A few years ago, when the admiral called me to say that I had been selected as the next Commanding Officer of Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton, one of the first thoughts that entered my head was, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m going to be working with world-renowned sleep researcher, Dr. Lynn Caldwell.’ This was followed very quickly by the realization of, ‘Oh my goodness, world-renowned sleep researcher, Dr. Caldwell is going to be working for me!’” said U.S. Navy Capt. Walter W. Dalitsch III, NAMRU-Dayton Commanding Officer. “When I was fortunate enough to be assigned to one of my favorite jobs in my career, on staff at our Navy and Marine Corps School of Aviation Safety, teaching the fleet Aviation Safety Officers and prospective [commanding officers] and [executive officers], my series of fatigue lectures was based primarily on [her] work…the material was so riveting and impactful for my students that the number one requested topic when I was invited as a guest speaker for safety stand-downs was the mitigation of fatigue.”

    According to Capt. Dalitsch, Dr. Caldwell is a “legend in the aeromedical research community” and her research reflects the designation. Dr. Caldwell was a lead author or contributor to nearly 50 peer-reviewed journals, 10 books or book chapters, 34 technical reports, 32 published abstracts, and over 100 conference presentations, poster presentations and workshop events.

    “Lynn Caldwell arrived soon after NAMRL relocated from Pensacola in 2011, having lost the majority of its staff in the years leading up to the move,” said Dr Richard Arnold, NAMRL Director. “Her arrival infused the lab with instant credibility, and her work here over 11-plus years provided constant reinforcement thereof.”

    Beyond the sheer numbers of published research and studies, her work in sleep studies and pharmaceutical treatments is regarded by NAMRL leadership as particularly significant in understanding the role of countermeasures toward fighting fatigue.

    “Perhaps her most impactful work involved a couple of studies investigating the efficacy of modafinil,” Dr. Arnold said. “Naval Aviation had previously used dextroamphetamine as its sole fatigue countermeasure during sustained operations. One of the problems with ‘dex’ is that as an amphetamine, there were undesirable side effects for some users such as jitteriness and anxiety-like experiences. Modafinil had similar alertness enhancing properties, but generally without such side effects. Due to Dr. Caldwell's research, and the work of some others, the Navy added modafinil to its approved medications list around 2014.”
    Capt. Dalitsch noted the effects Caldwell’s research had on the entire Navy beyond aviation.

    “The U.S. surface fleet, and submarines, have adopted many new crew rest policies, over-turning literally centuries of embedded Navy culture,” he said. “And Dr. Caldwell’s work is also spreading to international militaries. It is a long, slow process for such a paradigm shift, but know that [her] impact has not just been for the past three decades – I know that it will carry on for many more decades into the future."

    Dr. Caldwell received her Ph. D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1988. She received a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from USM in 1983 and a Bachelor of Science in Social Welfare from the University of Alabama in 1980. Before her work with NAMRU-Dayton, Dr. Caldwell served in a similar role with the Air Force Research Laboratory in San Antonio, Texas, and, later, helped the lab’s Base Re-alignment and Closure – directed move to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where she served from 2007-2012. Additionally, Dr. Caldwell served as a distinguished visiting scholar to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and as a research psychologist at The U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory at Ft. Rucker, Ala., from 1989-1995 and 1998-2002.

    “This has been a great end of my career,” Dr. Caldwell said. “This has been a great place to work, I’ve watched this place grow, I’ve watched [Dr. Arnold] make it grow and it’s been very impressive to see what has happened to see it grow from 3-4 principal investigators to what it is today. Thank you all very much.”



    Date Taken: 03.10.2023
    Date Posted: 03.10.2023 14:30
    Story ID: 440163
    Location: DAYTON, OH, US

    Web Views: 147
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