Dr. James J. Valdes

Senior Research Fellow; U.S. Army Scientific Advisor for Biotechnology
Research Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM)

James ValdesPhone: 410-671-1396
Email: james.j.valdes.civ@mail.mil; valdesj3@ndu.edu 
Areas of Expertise: Biological & Chemical Defense; Science and Technology

Dr. Valdes serves as the Army’s Scientific Advisor for Biotechnology, a Senior Professional position. In this capacity, he serves as the senior biological scientist and advisor to the Command Group, U.S. Army RDECOM. Prior to his present assignment, Dr. Valdes served as Acting Chief, Biotechnology Division and as a Research Pharmacologist and Research Physical Scientist at the ECBC.

His areas of research interest are biotechnology and synthetic biology. He initiated a biosensor program at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) and chaired the first four International Conferences on Biosensors. More recently, he has established a scale-up bioprocess engineering capability at ECBC with joint ventures and partnerships with academia and industry.

Dr. Valdes organized and co-chaired the 1993 and 1995 Keystone Symposia on Environmental Biotechnology, as well as the 2002 NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Toxicogenomics and Proteomics. He serves on a number of NATO, academic and Department of Defense panels, and is a member of the Boards of Directors of the International Society for Environmental Biotechnology and the Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource (ASTAR) program. ASTAR develops science and technology educational programs and certification for the Nation’s senior judiciary.

Dr. Valdes is Technical Area Chief (Biotechnology) for the Army’s SBIR Program. He developed the Tactical Garbage to Energy Refinery (TGER) program and in 2008 deployed to Iraq with two TGER prototypes for field testing of this new waste-to-energy (WTE) technology, the only WTE technology to be tested under operational conditions. The next generation TGER 2.0 was recently field tested.

His awards and recognition include winning the Army Research and Development Achievement Award in 1984 and 1987, the Army Materiel Command’s Ten Best Personnel Award in 1988, the Baltimore Federal Executive Board Silver Award for Excellence in Federal Career in 1990, a commendation for Outstanding Research Accomplishments at the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Army Science Conference (ASC), and bronze medals for the Best Paper at the 2002 and 2008 ASC meetings. He also received the Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank Award in 2003 and 2009, which were presented to him by the Secretary of the Army and the Vice Chief of Army Staff on behalf of the President of the United States.

Dr. Valdes is adjunct Professor of Life Sciences at the University of Texas at San Antonio, a member of the Graduate Faculty in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland, Senior Research Fellow at the National Defense University, and Chairman of the Harford Community College Board of Trustees. He was Distinguished Visiting Scientist for the Agency for Defense Development, Republic of Korea, in 1987 and 1994, and is a National Research Council post-doctoral fellow and DoD SMART Program graduate advisor.

Dr. James J. Valdes received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Texas Christian University and was a postdoctoral fellow in neurotoxicity at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is the author of more than 130 refereed scientific journal articles, 40 technical reports, and 7 patents and has given more than 300 presentations to international scientific professional groups.


  • Team-Member: Biomarkers of Hardiness/Resilience
  • Project Leader: Defense Science and Technology Readiness Improvement and Decision Enhancement (DSTRIDE)
  • Team-Member: Response to an Unforeseen Chemical Hazard Study (RUCHS)
  • Project Leader: Tactical Garbage to Energy Refinery (TGER)


*Full list of articles available upon request