Research Week 2010: Video Highlights 85 Years of Discovery, Innovation, and Advancement

Thursday, April 22, 2010 General News
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WASHINGTON, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The VA Office of Research and Development's illustrious history of health-improving

advances is celebrated in a new video for Research Week 2010. With the approach of this Research Week, taking place during the week of April 26-30 with kickoff events on April 22, Secretary
of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki, says, "As we mark the 85th year of VA's research program, we celebrate our innovative researchers who helped turn so many hopes into realities."

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:

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Since 1925, VA's research program has enhanced Veterans' lives—improving care immeasurably not only for them, but ultimately for many other Americans as well. "From effective therapies for tuberculosis, to implantable cardiac pacemakers, to the first successful liver transplants, to the development of the nicotine patch and beyond, VA's rich research history and trailblazing accomplishments are a source of great pride to our Department and to the Nation," says Joel Kupersmith, MD, VA's Chief Research and Development Officer.

VA's research accomplishments span the full spectrum of Veterans' health needs, from disease prevention to rehabilitation. The wide range of health concerns consistently addressed by VA research includes traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions, post-deployment health, neurological disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, prosthetic care, women's health, and health equity and access.

One cutting-edge area of current VA research focus that will be highlighted during Research Week 2010 and pointed up in the video is the science of genomics—the study of genetic information toward tailoring therapies for an individual patient. Other spotlighted areas include comparative effectiveness studies, which compare therapeutic options head-to-head, and strides being made toward personalization of medicine to meet a patient's individual health care needs.

VA studies in all of these areas share a common driving force: the health needs of Veterans. The video features Veterans who have benefited from VA research and care. One such Veteran: popular country singer and songwriter Stephen Cochran, whose back was broken in six places by an IED blast while he served in Afghanistan. "Hope is what gave me the drive to face the battle of walking after my injuries left me paralyzed from the waist down," remembers Cochran, whose ability to walk was restored after doctors performed an experimental procedure at the Nashville VA Medical Center in Tennessee. Adds the country star, who generously supports VA and also performs benefit shows for Veterans organizations, "That hope, and the experimental procedure performed at VA, is what got me where I am today. I encourage other Veterans to seek the care that they need."

To care for patients like Cochran, VA has the longstanding advantage of being able to move its scientific discoveries that have taken root in labs and clinics, and through use of VA's national system of electronic health records, rapidly to patient's care. This asset is based on VA's integrated system in which 70 percent of its investigators are also clinicians providing direct patient care.

Of the long history of VA research accomplishments that have served as the foundation for VA's world-class patient care, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, says: "For eight and a half decades, VA Research has helped not only those who served in our Nation's armed forces: it has yielded vital breakthroughs that have benefited all Americans, Veterans and non-Veterans alike. Looking back, we applaud VA Research's many award-winning discoveries; looking forward, we expect its greatest days are yet to come."

Please join us in commemorating the legacy of VA research achievement, and in saluting the courageous Veterans who have sacrificed in service to the United States and who volunteer to participate in VA studies. Information about VA Research Week events is available at

SOURCE Department of Veterans Affairs


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