The potential research portfolio is very wide - understanding how various microbes and toxins cause disease identifying safe and effective vaccines and antidotes, remote sensing, food contamination and protective clothing. Throughout, the TZF's research perspective will focus firmly on addressing the welfare of those most directly exposed to the various risk(s). To this end an eminent Advisory Council comprising accomplished representatives of science, industry, the humanities and politics and the military has been constituted. The "users" (soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen) and their representatives (e.g., veterans' associations) will also be consulted in setting research priorities.

Some notable areas where past and present practices raise welfare concerns are:

  • Microbial and Parasitic Diseases. Gastrointestinal illness (diarrhea, dysentery) caused by infectious agents (bacteria, viruses) have long been and remain a scourge for the military overseas; they were the leading cause of illness amongst US troops in the Gulf War. Some bacterial agents involved (e.g., E coli and Shigella) are well known, but effective vaccines have yet to be developed. Malaria and dengue fever, among other diseases, remain major threats to health of Americans deployed overseas on military or humanitarian missions. The possible untoward effects of multiple vaccination given over a short period of time requires immediate study to protect against possible autoimmune reactions in recipients.

  • Toxicological Interactions. Exposure to multiple agents, chemicals, drugs, vaccines, is a fact of modern troop deployment. Data are now beginning to emerge that such agents, individually harmless, in combination may cause harmful effects. Multiple vaccinations using different vaccines, some of them new, have come under suspicion. Animal studies have indicated previously unsuspected harmful interactions between chemical agents used for protective purposes, e.g. combined use of anti-nerve gas agents and insecticides.

  • The Role of Stress. Increasingly stress is being recognized a "toxic agent" modifying normal body functions.

[The TZF welcomes your Comments/Suggestions regarding proposed research/support]

The complex research problems to be addressed will require expertise based on a wide range of disciplines: including microbiology, toxicology, genomics, engineering , epidemiology, and public health. Together these will often exceed the resources of single individual research institutions and collaboration will be essential. The TZF, with its national and international contacts, is well able to identify and facilitate the appropriate collaborations best able to address current and emerging issues.

About Gen. Thurman

About Adm. Zumwalt

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