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Air Force Medical Service welcomes new chief scientist

  • Published
  • By Kira Baldau
  • Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs

Tanisha L. Hammill was inducted as chief scientist, the first permanent senior-most scientific advisor to the Air Force Surgeon General, during a ceremony June 9, 2023, at the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia.

"This is a chance of a lifetime to bring together her background in humanities and ethics while exploring new frontiers in science," said Lt. Gen. Robert I. Miller, U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, during the induction. "I have no doubt I have found the right person for the job for the long-term success of the AFMS."

In her role as chief scientist - a civilian scientific and professional career service position - Hammill will develop the Air Force Medical Service’s strategic vision for medical requirements, research and development, as well as acquisition and sustainment. She will advise the Air Force Surgeon General on collaboration and resource coordination across service, joint, federal and international organizations, integrating research priorities and provide guidance to planning, programming and budgetary processes that implement AFMS programs.

"I think to myself, ‘what we can accomplish in new technology and new solutions to detect and identify threats on the battlefield, diagnose injuries, provide acute life-saving care and move patients, provide that world-class care anywhere, anytime,’" said Hammill.

Hammill has 19 years’ experience in the Military Health System. She began her career with at Navy Medical Center San Diego, where she conducted laboratory, pre-clinical and clinical auditory and vestibular research. She holds a doctorate in translational science from the University of Texas where she studied pharmaceutical interventions for hearing loss. She has also earned professional certifications as a clinical research administrator and project management professional. Additionally, Hammill is pursuing Defense Acquisition University certification in program management.

"It wasn't until I stepped into that contract support role with clinical studies for the Navy that I felt that true sense of purpose for the first time," said Hammill. "And I think all of you who wear the uniform feel that sense of purpose and you wear it every day. I just try to live up to that same dedication and service."

Following Miller’s opening remarks, he issued the appointment order and administered the oath of office to Hammill. After Miller pinned on Hammill’s insignia, she ended the ceremony with closing comments.

"I know I cannot fail in this job," said Hammill. "Both current and future service members depend on us being successful in our development of new technologies."