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    NAMRU San Antonio spotlights Navy Dentist during Women’s History Month

    NAMRU San Antonio spotlights Navy Dentist during Women’s History Month

    Photo By Burrell Parmer | JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON – (March 27, 2024) – One of the highly...... read more read more



    Story by Burrell Parmer 

    Naval Medical Research Unit San Antonio

    JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON – (March 28, 2024) – Approximately 50 percent of Naval Medical Research Unit (NAMRU) San Antonio’s military and support personnel is comprised of women. Therefore, it is fitting that the 2024 theme of Women's History Month be “Women Who Have Made Great Achievements.”

    One of the highly professional women within Navy Medicine is Cmdr. Rachel Werner, Dental Corps, NAMRU San Antonio’s acting chief science director.

    Born and raised in Cocoa Beach, Fla., Werner has been serving in America’s Navy for 15 years with the active-duty force, first being commissioned in the Navy Reserve as an ensign in 2005.

    Before attending dental school at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Werner was recruited for service in the Navy Dental Corps through the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP).

    “My father was part of the first class of HPSP scholarship recipients attending medical school,” said Werner, who has been a board-certified pathologist for 10 years, and a molecular biologist for two years. “I wanted to follow in his footsteps, and subsequently applied for and was awarded an HPSP scholarship to attend dental school.”

    As the principal scientific advisor to the commanding officer, Werner oversees all scientific endeavors and programs of NAMRU San Antonio to include representing the command in scientific matters with other military organizations, civilian agencies, and academia.

    According to Werner, the Navy has been incredibly supportive in her professional training.

    “The Navy has been my family since I commissioned,” said Werner. “I have been afforded incredible opportunities to travel, expand my horizons, and achieve my goals as a pathologist, scientist, and as a leader.”

    Werner recalled receiving her first research grant and being a mentor.

    “I was able to set up a small molecular biology lab to study the molecular effects of directed energy-associated injuries on skin/connective tissues,” said Werner. “I’ve also had the opportunity to mentor several Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP) interns and dental residents in pursuing their research interests.”

    Routinely overcoming challenges, Werner believes in the mission of NAMRU San Antonio, and the importance of the research being conducted for warfighter survival.

    “The best part of being at NAMRU San Antonio is our brilliant and talented family that gets the mission done each and every day,” said Werner. “Our group comprises military, civilians, and contractors within our finance, administration, and science directorates; we all work together to get the job done.”

    NAMRU San Antonio’s mission is to conduct gap driven combat casualty care, craniofacial, and directed energy research to improve survival, operational readiness, and safety of Department of Defense (DoD) personnel engaged in routine and expeditionary operations.

    It is one of the leading research and development laboratories for the U.S. Navy under the DoD and is one of eight subordinate research commands in the global network of laboratories operating under the Naval Medical Research Command in Silver Spring, Md.



    Date Taken: 03.28.2024
    Date Posted: 03.28.2024 10:04
    Story ID: 467233
    Location: SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, US

    Web Views: 123
    Downloads: 0