Colonel George W. Korch Jr., USA, Commander, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of InfectiousDiseases

DomesticPreparedness met with Colonel George W. Korch Jr., USA, Commander, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). Colonel Korch discusses the USAMRIID core mission and explains how it can serve the U.S. public-health and first-responder communities both as a laboratory and training resource. DomPrep has divided the 37 minute interview into seven segments. Download full audio interview to your MP3 player. Listen to Audio Segment One Background on USAMRIID and an Overview of Training
USAMRIID’s core mission: basic and applied research on biological threats leading to the development of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics – and an expantion of  the public-health information base. USAMRIID’s laboratory role for public health as a National Reference Laboratory for the CDC’s Laboratory Response Network (LRN). USAMRIID as an evaluator of commercial off-the-shelf diagnostic solutions for first responders. An overview of training.
Duration: 12 Minutes 35 Seconds Listen to Audio Segment Two USAMRIID’s Course in the “Field Management of Chemical/Biological Casualties”
room, lab, and field training work on the current global threat posed by the use of chemical and biological agents, the characteristics and effects of those agents, early recognition and emergency treatment of agent exposure, the principles of triage, and decontamination of chemical and biological agent casualties.
Duration: 1 Minutes 57 Seconds Listen to Audio Segment Three “Medical Management of Chemical/Biological Casualties”
A credited course for public-health and medical providers involved in the diagnosis and treatment of chemical and biological casualties in the medical facility. Distance learning products via and
Duration: 3 Minutes 26 Seconds Listen to Audio Segment Four Hospital Management of CBRNE Incidents
A credited course on mass-casualty incidents for hospital-based medical professionals in public health, the private sector, and emergency management. A mix of room instruction, real-life scenarios, and tabletop exercises.
Duration: 2 Minutes 39 Seconds Listen to Audio Segment Five Fieldentification of Biological Warfare Agents
A course for lab managers and trainers on biological agententification that includes operational issues for decision-making and the instructions for setting up, maintaining, and operating a deployable laboratory under field conditions.
Duration: 2 Minutes 44 Seconds Listen to Audio Segment Six Bio-Agent Detection Technologies
Korch’s views on such detection technologies as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), electrochemiluminescence (ECL), microarrays, immunoassays, immunosorbent assays, etc. His stress on a truly integrated sample-analysis approach. The importance of the Laboratory Response Network partner labs for analytical support for the public-health and first-responder communities.
Duration: 4 Minutes 48 Seconds Listen to Audio Segment Seven USAMRIID’s Aeromedical Isolation Team
The composition, equipment, and missions of USAMRIID’s Aeromedical Isolation Team (AIT) and the team’s orientation to the principal threats posed by viral hemorrhagic fevers. The AIT’s approach to communications among caregivers and communications with the patient. The challenge of maintaining containment.
Duration: 8 Minutes 36 Seconds Colonel Korch received a direct commission as a Captain in the Medical Service Corps (MSC) in July 1986. His first assignment was as a medical entomologist with the Entomology Branch of the Army Environmental Hygiene Agency, currently known as the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (USACHPPM), in 1987. His subsequent assignments included research entomologist for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in 1989; branch chief of Rapid Diagnostics for USAMRIID in 1990; and commander of the 5th Medical Detachment, 121st General Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea, in 1993. The following year, Colonel Korch was assigned as a staff officer for the Medical Biological Defense Research Program, U.S. Army Medical and Materiel Command (USAMRMC). He then served as a biodefense technical science officer for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs at the Pentagon in 1996. Colonel Korch returned to USAMRIID as chief of the Virology Division in 1996 and became deputy commander of USAMRIID in 1999. In 2002, he left USAMRIID to serve as a U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) theater entomologist with the 3rd Medical Command (MEDCOM (FWD)), at Camp Doha, Kuwait, and then became director of the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Colonel Korch then served as the director of the Medical Chemical and Biological Defense Research Division for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. In 2005, Colonel Korch returned to USAMRIID as the Commander. Colonel Korch has authored numerous scientific publications and served as co-editor of the biodefense textbook, Biological Weapons Defense: Infectious Disease and Counterbioterrorism, published in December 2004. He has held positions as an adjunct faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Hygiene and Public Health, and currently serves on the Dean’s Alumni Advisory Council. In addition, he has served on national review committees for the National Academy of Sciences, the Department of Homeland Security’s Centers of Excellence, the National Institutes of Health, the American Phytopathological Society, and others.
George W. Korch Jr.

Colonel George W. Korch Jr., USA, Commander, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)

John F. Morton

John F. Morton is the Strategic Advisor for DomPrep. He is also the Homeland Security Team Lead for the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR). A member of the DomPrep team since its founding, he has served as managing editor for writer assignments and interviewer for scores of DomPrep audio interviews.



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