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U.S. Army
Research Institute of Environmental Medicine

Behind the Science with Danielle Arcidiacono, M.S., Research Physiologist in the Military Performance Division

Danielle Arcidiacono
Danielle Arcidiacono

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

I have been at USARIEM with the Military Performance Division for about a year and a half. During the first year, I was a post-master's research fellow through the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education, supporting metabolic modeling research. As of August of 2023, I have converted to a Civilian Research Physiologist, supporting multiple military performance protocols and research teams across the division.

How did you become interested in Soldier Nutrition and Performance?

With a lifelong interest in physiology and athletics, I entered the field of exercise physiology and performance with a particular interest in working with special populations. As a former Gains in the Education of Science and Mathematics mentor at Natick Soldier Systems Center and previous personal exposure to military Service Members, I was able to learn about the mission and research at USARIEM and became increasingly interested with working with Soldiers as a special population.

What projects are you currently working on?

Currently, I am supporting both the musculoskeletal injury prevention team as well as a novel clinical trial regarding drug supplementation in both human and animal models as a research coordinator. The MSKI prevention team is currently focusing on the effects of sleep extension and a modified physical readiness training program on MSKI risk during Basic Combat Training with the intent of altering instruction for future Basic Combat trainees. The clinical trial is intended to assess the compositional and performance implications of a weight-loss drug supplementation in Active-Duty Soldiers. My role in these projects includes support from the protocol development stage, facilitating projects through data collection, and presentation of novel findings through scientific conference presentations and manuscripts.

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

The aspect of my job I find most gratifying is being able to work directly with Army Soldiers to achieve our mission of optimizing the Warfighter. This field also allows me to study physiology from a very unique yet comprehensive perspective, as military performance encompasses extreme environmental, nutritional and occupational stressors that are truly exclusive to this population.

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

The part of my job that I find the most difficult is being patient with the research process. There are many exciting mission-essential research questions that we are setting out to answer, but the time it takes to answer these important questions and implement change into military policy can be challenging.

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

I am a big Boston sports fan, so I like to spend my time outside of work either watching or going to games to support my favorite teams (Go Sox!).

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Last Modified Date: 1/19/2024