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U.S. Army
Research Institute of Environmental Medicine

Behind the Science with SSG Irma Blanco, Laboratory Sergeant in the Thermal & Mountain Medicine Division

SSG Irma Blanco
SSG Irma Blanco

How long have you been at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine?

I have been at USARIEM for about a year as the Thermal & Mountain Medicine Division Non Commissioned Officer In Charge while assisting with Exertional Heat Stroke research.

How did you become interested in Soldier Nutrition and Performance?

I personally enjoy the science aspect of the mission and seeing how the science is currently making changes to Army policy. As a Soldier, I love witnessing how the research that happens in the institute is shaping how the Army enhances the Warfighter health and performance as it becomes policy while working along some of the best physiologist.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working with Dr. Oki's team on Exertional Heat Stoke research using a pre-clinical mice model. The goals of the protocol are to identify if heat preconditioning can be used as an effective countermeasure as well as determining whether a chemical compound can mitigate EHS outcomes measuring a variety of physiological, biochemical and organ injury markers.

What aspects of your job do you love and find most gratifying?

Being able to make a difference in the Army by potentially reducing the impact of heat injuries in the Army as well as mentoring and developing Soldiers in my division and the institute.

What part of your job do you find to be the most difficult?

I don't find any of it hard. I am able to manage all aspects of research and being the division NCOIC.

When you are not at the Institute, what do you like to do for fun?

I like to spend time with friends and family and go to the gym.

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Last Modified Date: 12/12/2023