U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Biomedical Resilience & Readiness in Adverse Operating Environments (BRAVE)

Our nation’s first responders are often called on to perform in adverse conditions stressful to the human body. These stressors—fatigue, sleep cycle changes, excessive physical exertion, pathogens, and chemical exposures—strongly influence a person’s health and readiness.

PNNL researchers seek to improve the health and performance of first responders by coupling biomarker information from specific physical and environmental stressors with the understanding of how genetics influence an individual’s unique response to such stressors. BRAVE—Biomedical Resilience & readiness in AdVerse operating Environments—is a PNNL program that brings together researchers from academic and federal institutions to tackle these scientific challenges and improve the effectiveness of our nation’s first responders.

Current Projects

Deep learning for image-based toxicity assessment
Using millions of cell images and advanced high-performance computing, PNNL researchers are developing a new deep learning program that will accurately identify toxic chemicals and how they disrupt biological systems.

Signatures of metabolic dysregulation from sleep cycle disruption
PNNL researchers are combining proteomics and metabolomics, with novel pathway and network analysis tools, to identify biomolecules that control disease causing metabolic disruption in humans when they suffer from sleep cycle disruptions, such as shift work.

Physiological and biochemical markers of physical stress
By analyzing data from physiological monitoring devices and biofluid samples, PNNL researchers will identify biological indicators of stress from the extreme physical training and field experience of firefighters, tactical units, military units, and other first responders.



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