Cmdr. USN Benjamin J. Espinosa, PhD

Title: Military Deputy
Company: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
Location: Charles Town, West Virginia, United States

Cmdr. USN Benjamin J. Espinosa, PhD, Military Deputy at U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in microbiology.

Dr. Espinosa has excelled in his role as a military deputy in the chemistry division of the U.S. Naval Research Library since 2022. Additionally, he was appointed as the liaison officer for countering weapons of mass destruction at the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in 2015, a position in which he remains. Furthermore, he was active as the deputy director and the head of operations of the biological defense research directorate at the Naval Medical Research Center between 2012 and 2022. Dr. Espinosa contributed to the threat assessment department for the U.S. Navy as the laboratory director between 2008 and 2012. In 2008, he previously worked as the director of parasitology for the U.S. Navy. For three years, he was recruited as an organic chemist at a local company and was head of parasitology in Peru.

In 1999, Dr. Espinosa obtained a Bachelor of Arts in molecular biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. After reading “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston, he was inspired to pursue a PhD in vaccine development for tuberculosis, an accomplishment he completed in 2005 at Colorado State University. He has contributed to many creative works as well, including Ebola Outbreak, Weekly Pathogen Report, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Professional Journals in Proteomics of Tuberculosis and Leprosy. Additionally, he has been featured on CNN and Reuters.

Dr. Espinosa has received several accolades from the U.S. Navy, notably two Meritorious Service Medals for his exceptional response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2022 and his commendable efforts during the Ebola crisis in 2018. Their distinguished service is further underscored by five Commendation Medals awarded between 2008 and 2015 and the Humanitarian Service Medal in 2007. He cites his involvement in the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including developing a laboratory in Liberia between 2013 and 2014, as his most notable achievement. As the officer in charge of the laboratory, he was privileged to work with former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in combatting the outbreak. 

When he is not working, Dr. Espinosa devotes his time to hiking, biking, woodworking, music, and outdoor sports. His favorite pastime is traveling with his children, including a daughter who is pursuing a law degree, and his youngest child who is in high school. In the upcoming years, he aims to retire from the military and become involved in the private or non-profit sector, in which he will continue the work he started in Africa by developing deployable laboratory capabilities to be utilized by hotspots around the world, particularly in developing countries. Eventually, he hopes to create a team and partner with organizations that can help provide more comprehensive medical capabilities, assistance, and resources to countries without access.

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