NAMRU San Antonio Naval Medical Research Unit


San Antonio, TX


Dr. William D'Angelo -

Operating Status Summer 2023:

On-site (The internship will be performed entirely at the lab)

Student Requirements:

Students must be solely U.S. citizens. (Permanent residents and dual citizens are not eligible.) They must be 18 years of age and able to obtain security clearance. Students must also have a driver’s license and their own transportation to get to on site. Vaccinations are required before the beginning of the internship.


To conduct gap driven combat casualty care, craniofacial, and directed energy research to improve survival, operational readiness, and safety of Department of Defense personnel engaged in routine and expeditionary operations.

About the Lab

The tri-pillar Mission of Naval Medical Research Unit - San Antonio (NAMRU-SA) – combat casualty care, craniofacial and directed energy research – comes about as part of the DoD's efforts to co-locate these functions across the Services and makes San Antonio a national hub for biomedical research. in addition, this provides ample opportunities to collaborate with our Army and Air Force colleagues. NAMRU-SA provides a collegial cross-discipline research environment with state-of-the art biomedical facilities. Our researchers tackle cutting-edge issues that have a direct impact on the heath, survival and recovery of our military service members.

What is unique about this lab?

NAMRU-SA is the only Navy laboratory with its own biomedical engineering research, development, test and evaluation component. Here the bioengineers go beyond supporting research to driving the investigations themselves.

About the Internship

We are seeking motivated college students with an interest in expanding their knowledge and hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, particularly in the field of biomedical science and bioengineering. Summer interns are provided with an environment that will foster their creativity, help them develop a problem-solving mindset, and give them the opportunity to participate in meaningful technical research. Additionally, they will gain experience in a professional workplace that specializes in STEM careers.

What will I do any given day as an intern at this lab?

Interns participate in lab functions in a number of ways including (but not limited to) assisting mentors with guided research projects; job and project shadowing with professional researchers; networking with STEM professionals and other interns; a weekly JournalClub; touring labs; group mentoring sessions; team and leadership development sessions; presenting a final oral presentation and poster display; and other professional development activities.

What majors and disciplines are a good fit for interning at this lab?

The primary fields of interest in are:

  • Applied Engineering
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronics Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Epidemiology
  • Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics
  • Medical Science
  • Medicine/Health
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Programming
  • Radiobiology
  • Radiology
  • Robotics
  • Statistics
  • Systems Engineering

Other related fields may be considered.

What will I learn as an intern at this lab?

As part of the internship, you will get hands-on experience supporting medical projects, experiments, test and engineering evaluations, STEM activities, and device development under the guidance of experienced science and engineering mentors. You will learn research processes and protocols in areas such as additive manufacturing, machine learning, signal processing, imaging, tissue engineering, infection treatment, casualty treatment. Projects may include research and development of new techniques or test and evaluation for the assessment of approaches. All projects are hypothesis driven and address current priority gaps in military medicine. Literature research and learning of state-of-the-art techniques to support the studies is expected.

What kinds of projects do interns at this lab participate in?

The following are examples of projects to which interns may be assigned:

The Expeditionary and Trauma Medicine Department conducts RDT&E focused on the protection, resuscitation, and stabilization of combat casualties at frontline points of care in the combat theater. The Trauma medicine group focuses on primary and pre-clinical RDT&E for the development and optimization of drug products and advanced therapies for the treatment of hemorrhagic shock. The Expeditionary Medicine group works to identify and effectively mitigate stressors and improve survivability through the evaluation of products and agents that deliver capabilities to meet rapidly evolving expeditionary warfare requirements.

Cellular and Immune Based Adjuncts for Casualty Care Department focuses on the evaluation of identification of biomarkers associated with wound healing, tissue and bone regeneration, and microbial infections, leveraging proteomic and transcriptomic data as we push towards personalized medicine. In addition, mechanistic and immunological profiles are established to identify potential therapeutic targeting strategies to mitigate systemic and local effects that manifest in response to combat-related injuries.

The Biomedical Systems Engineering and Evaluation Department focuses on development of prototypic medical devices for treatment of combat injuries. Additionally, this department aims to create new or modify existing devices for field use in austere environments. Medical devices of interest range from sterilization equipment to devices to hemorrhage control. Finally, the Evaluations group leads a large effort which is centered around test and evaluation of FDA approved medical devices. The main focus is test and evaluation of junctional and extremity tourniquets. Studies are initially completed using the Syndaver, or synthetic cadaver, and then frequently validated using military participants to evaluate effectiveness and other parameters such as ease of use.

The Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department studies the distribution of oral, dental, and craniofacial diseases and injuries occurring in Sailors and Marines. Research is directed toward the improvement of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of oral/dental diseases and injuries that affect the health and readiness of Sailors and Marines, while deployed or in garrison.

The Maxillofacial Injury and Disease Department conducts research on the microbiology, immunology, etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of medical and dental diseases, especially infections and biofilms that are resistant to currently used antibiotics. Novel laser-acoustic methods and nanoparticle technologies are being studied to increase the armamentarium available to clinicians for the treatment of resistant infections.

The Biomaterials and Environmental Surveillance Department conducts research, development, testing and evaluation of biomaterials used in medicine and dentistry. As the lead agent for mercury abatement in Navy Dental Treatment Facilities, the department is responsible for the development and testing of systems and technologies that minimize the environmental impact and occupational hazards of Navy Dentistry.