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MRIGlobal’s NCR Team Marks 20th Anniversary

Global Health Surveillance

Team Committed to the Mission of Solving World’s Challenges in Defense and Health

Following the 9/11 attacks and the Oct. 2001 anthrax letter attacks, US government officials reached out to MRIGlobal about establishing a rapid response laboratory capability in the National Capital Region (NCR) for the surveillance and detection of biological threat agents, including anthrax. This initial call was the beginning of a program that has grown to support several clients and government agencies, serving as an enduring capability and asset to national security for the past two decades. MRIGlobal’s NCR team marks their 20th anniversary on June 1, 2022.  

Supporting programs across the region, the expertise and dedication of the NCR team has proven valuable time and again. Their contributions to national security have included activities related to biological and chemical threat detection and reduction, responding to global infectious disease outbreaks, and leading infectious disease diagnostics development. The NCR team has also worked closely with government and commercial customers and partners to conduct research and development, testing, evaluation, and operational implementation of new technologies supporting both defense and health missions. 

In Nov. 2014, amidst an Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, the US government requested that MRIGlobal design, build, equip, deploy, and staff quick response mobile laboratory systems for the detection of Ebola virus. Within weeks, these mobile, self-sustained, self-contained laboratories were deployed and operational in both Sierra Leone and Guinea. The success of this effort was the result of incredible teamwork across the institute and the government. Ultimately this program reduced the time for Ebola virus diagnostic test results from three to four days down to three to four hours, improving treatment decisions and enabling necessary life-saving care.  

Leveraging the institute’s decades of experience in infectious disease detection assay and method development, MRIGlobal NCR clinical diagnostic staff have most recently played a critical role in developing and testing diagnostic assays in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Working closely with clinical diagnostic staff at MRIGlobal headquarters in Kansas City, MO, MRIGlobal NCR clinical diagnostic staff have helped improve and evaluate the effectiveness of COVID-19 diagnostic tests and quickly get them to market, curbing the impact of the pandemic. These processes for improving assays and methodologies will continue to be a model for future responses to infectious diseases outbreaks, positively impacting people around the world. 

“There is an incredibly strong sense of mission within the NCR team and across MRIGlobal, addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges in defense and health. In fact, several of those same people who started with us 20 years ago are still working with us today,” says Dr. Joseph Bogan, Director – Program Development, Defense, MRIGlobal. “Our staff are incredibly talented and dedicated, and are a valuable asset to MRIGlobal, our communities, and the nation. Their commitment to the mission helps make the world a better, safer place, every day.” 

As MRIGlobal’s NCR team works daily to respond to the world’s greatest challenges and build capabilities for the future, its biological threat agent detection laboratories anticipate testing their 1,000,000th sample in Aug. 2022, continuing to serve a critical role in protection and deterrence from threats to national security.