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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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DeBakey VA to Highlight Medical Advancements in Research during the 2013 National VA Research Week

May 13, 2013

The Department of Veterans Affairs will celebrate National VA Research Week May 13-17, 2013.  As part of the nationwide observance, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will conduct a Research Day event on Friday, May 17, 2013, beginning at 1 p.m. The program will be moderated by Laura A. Petersen, MD, MPH, associate chief of staff for research, and will include four scientific presentations by MEDVAMC investigators:  Rolando Rumbaut, MD, PhD, on “CTRID: A Collaborative Approach Towards Research Excellence in Inflammatory Diseases;” Mark Kunik, MD, MPH, on “Prevention Research in Alzheimer’s Disease: Addressing Pain to Reduce Aggression;” Jose Manuel Garcia, MD, PhD, on “Ghrelin: A Novel Treatment for Cancer-Associated Weight Loss,” and Randall Scheibel, PhD, on “Functional Brain Imaging in Veterans with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.”
"VA research is a national asset that benefits Veteran patients and the entire nation by moving medical science forward," said Laura Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P, the medical center's associate chief of staff for research. "VA investigators have played key roles in developing devices and techniques that revolutionized health care – including the cardiac pacemaker, the CAT scan, the Shingles vaccine, liver and kidney transplants, and much more. Today, VA is a leader in many areas of research, such as HIV/AIDS, mental health, genomics, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases, and spinal cord injury."
VA conducts biomedical, rehabilitation, clinical, and health services research – as well as large, multi-center clinical trials – at more than 100 medical centers across the country.  The MEDVAMC is the national leader of 49 participatory sites in recruitment efforts for The Million Veteran Program (MVP):  A Partnership with Veterans.  MVP is a national research program to study how genes affect health and illness, with the goal of improving health care for Veterans.  The MEDVAMC Network of Dedicated Enrollment Sites (NODES) is one of ten NODES Centers funded throughout the country.  Established in October of 2012, the NODES mission is to increase the efficiency of local coordination of the VA Cooperative Study Program (CSP) studies at MEDVAMC.  Researchers at the MEDVAMC Neurorehabilitation:  Neurons to Networks (N:N2N) Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Center of Excellence (CoE) are evaluating the Service Members and Veterans who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 to better understand how brain injury and other deployment-related conditions affect their lives.  The researchers want to help to improve Veterans’ reintegration into civilian life, develop new tools and treatments for TBI-related symptoms and other deployment-related conditions, and improve diagnosis of TBI.  The Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies is one of 14 VA Health Services Research and Development Centers of Excellence.  Established in 1990, the Houston center systematically examines the impact of the organization, management and financing of health care services on the delivery, quality, cost, utilization, and outcomes of care for Veterans. 

For more information, or to schedule an interview with a researcher, please contact Fran Burke, at 713-794-7349.