Minneapolis VA Health Care System

Research

photos of researchers in the lab 

The Minneapolis VA Health Care System hosts one of the largest and most active research programs in the VA health care system. There are currently over 160 scientists and investigators conducting 550 research projects.  Research projects carried on by these investigators cover the gamut of human disease with emphasis on brain physiology, Alzheimer's disease, vascular disease (pulmonary hypertension, abdominal aneurysms), infectious disease (influenza, urinary tract infections), diabetes mellitus (basic biochemistry and clinical management), outcomes-based research (HSR&D)  (sexual harassment, tobacco addiction, PTSD, and polytrauma), heart disease, prostate and colon cancer, hematologic malignancies,  chronic pain,  schizophrenia, addictive disorders, Gulf War syndrome, hepatitis C, traumatic brain injury,  and chemical dependency. 

Minneapolis VA has a strong affiliation with the University of Minnesota.  Many VA projects involve collaboration with University scientists.

Links of Interest:


Excellence video - click for videoNEW: The "Excellence Through Learning, Discovery and Best Practices" video explores the research and education programs at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System.

 




Project Strive - PTSD & VeteransProject STRIVE
This study is specifically for Veterans who are distressed by a past traumatic event (for example, thinking a lot about distressing combat experiences, having nightmares about an assault) and who currently are drinking and/or using illicit drugs.

 

 



S.A.T.U.R.N. logo

SATURN
The SATURN (
Study of Aftereffects of Trauma: Understanding Response in National Guard) project is funded by the Department of Defense and will examine thinking, memory, and adjustment of military personnel who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan.



MVP logo

Million Veteran Program
Minneapolis VAHCS is now a participating site for MVP and is enrolling Veterans. The goal for this facility is to enroll 20,000 Veterans in the next five years to study and help better understand the effects that genes have on health and illness.

 


Major Research Programs:

• Alzheimer’s Disease – The Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center has numerous basic science and clinical studies.  www.minneapolis.va.gov/services/grecc/index.asp

 • Arthritis – Several investigators are evaluating the management of arthritis and the use of therapeutic agents such as Botox. 
  
 • Brain Sciences Center – The VA collaborates with the University of Minnesota to study brain activity using magnetoencephalography. www.brain.umn.edu/index.htm

 • Cancer – Several VAMC medical researchers participate in multi-site clinical trials of cancer therapies.
   
 • Cardiology – Studies underway at VAMC look at heart failure management and the effectiveness of therapies for heart disease.
 
 • Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research conducts statistical and epidemiological studies of PTSD, blast injuries, substance abuse, osteoporosis, vaccine preventable disease, prostate and urological disease, abdominal aortic aneurysms and colorectal cancer screening. www.hsrd.minneapolis.med.va.gov

 • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – Researchers focus on management of COPD.  www.hsrd.minneapolis.med.va.gov/PDF/CCDOR_News.pdf

 • Dermatology – Investigators study the effectiveness of tele-dermatology, cutaneous fungal diseases, allergic contact dermatitis and occupational skin disorders. www.hsrd.minneapolis.med.va.gov/PI_Warshaw.asp

 • Diabetes – Dietary management of this common disease is a major research focus.
  www.jacn.org/cgi/content/full/26/2/83 

 • Epidemiology – CCDOR investigators conduct many population-based studies of illness affecting Veterans and the general public.  www.hsrd.minneapolis.med.va.gov/MNEPC

• Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center - The center supports basic science and clinical studies of aging. www.minneapolis.va.gov/services/grecc/index.asp

 • Infectious Diseases – Studies include: epidemiological studies of influenza and the effectiveness of vaccines: E coli bacteria that causes urinary infections; the pathogenesis of HIV-1; and the use of antimicrobial therapies to treat Staphylococcus aureus.
 
 • Obesity and Weight Loss –Research is underway to find ways to dampen appetite by affecting the patient's central nervous system.   
 
 • Pain – Research focuses on pain management and ways to reduce pain caused by arthritis. www.hsrd.minneapolis.med.va.gov/PI_Burgess.asp

 • Polytrauma and Blast-Related Injuries – As one of four Polytrauma centers in the VA system, the Minneapolis center has studies underway to analyze the impact of blast injuries.  www.queri.research.va.gov/ptbri/

 • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Many VAMC researchers are looking at diagnosis and treatment of PTSD.
    
 • Prostate Disease – Research focuses on the prevention, detection, treatment and outcomes of urologic diseases, including prostate problems. www.hsrd.minneapolis.med.va.gov/PI_Wilt.asp

  • Prosthetics - A gait analysis laboratory helps evaluate new orthotic and prosthetic devices.
       
  • Resiliency and Readiness in National Guardsmen – A team from the VAMC and Minnesota National Guard is evaluating a cohort of guardsmen pre and post-deployment to the battlefield.  

 • Sexual function – Studies are underway to evaluate the use of treatments of erectile dysfunction.

 • Sleep – Studies are looking at patients with sleep disorders, including veterans with PTSD.

 • Smoking Cessation – Research seeks to find ways to help people deal with tobacco use in diverse and disadvantaged populations.  www.hsrd.minneapolis.med.va.gov/PI_Fu.asp