This inaugural issue of the Journal of Medical Chemical Defense represents the culmination of plans and efforts that have been underway since early 2001 at my Institute, the US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD). The Institute is the Department of Defense’s lead laboratory for research efforts to identify new or improved medical countermeasures against chemical warfare agents and for training military and other health care professionals in the medical management of chemical warfare agent casualties. USAMRICD is a subordinate element of the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (MRMC) and is the only DoD medical research laboratory authorized to maintain a chemical surety program that includes storage and issue of chemical surety materiel. The Institute also is responsible for maintaining oversight of non-DoD laboratories that have been approved to receive research quantities of chemical surety materiel.
The concept for this new online publication was reviewed and approved by the US Army Surgeon General. Our key objectives for the journal are as follows:
- To provide an international, peer-reviewed journal of original scientific research and clinical and doctrinal knowledge concerning medical chemical defense countermeasures, and
- To provide a medical chemical defense archive of research and development information affecting training and doctrine, and including professional discussions of problems related to the medical treatment of chemical casualties.
To make these goals a reality, MRICD formed a working partnership with the Battelle Memorial Institute (http://www.battelle.org/army/default.stm). The journal is prepared and made available online under the auspices of the Chemical and Biological Defense Information Analysis Center (CBIAC), a Department of Defense Information Analysis Center operated by Battelle and administered by the Defense Information System Agency, Defense Technical Information Center.
We envision that each issue will have sections including letters to the editor, original first research articles, review articles, articles describing doctrine and policy issues and short communications. The journal will include basic research through applied research (pre- and post-exposure treatments, therapies, diagnostics, etc.), clinical treatments, treatment procedures and methodologies, and topics in doctrine and policy.
As the single online forum for the rapid publication and distribution of medical information concerning chemical warfare—a topic of obvious worldwide concern—we expect that the journal will attract an enthusiastic, international and professional readership. We invite investigators from all parts of the medical and scientific spectrum around the world who are performing relevant research to consider making their potentially life-sustaining information available through this journal. US and international academic and industrial facilities and all military medical organizations worldwide are encouraged to contribute to this pool of common knowledge for the general benefit of us all.
JAMES A. ROMANO, JR., MSC