Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Office of Research & Development

print icon sign up for VA Research updates

History & Timeline

1946 - Concerned with the management of 10,000 veterans with tuberculosis, Drs. John Barnwell and Arthur M. Walker initiate a study to evaluate the efficacy of various drugs in the treatment of this disease, including the antibiotic, streptomycin. The results of the study not only revolutionize the treatment for tuberculosis, but also lead to the development of an innovative method for testing the effectiveness of new drugs: the multi-site VA Cooperative Study.

1955 - The Central Neuropsychiatric Research Laboratory at the Perry Point VA Medical Center develops a program for conducting cooperative studies in psychiatry. This program emphasizes the design and conduct of the randomized trials for the treatment of chronic schizophrenia.

1960 - Dr. William Tucker, Chairman of the first Cooperative Studies Evaluation Committee (CSEC), publishes a monograph entitled, The Evolution of the Cooperative Studies in Chemotherapy of Tuberculosis of the Veterans Administration and Armed Forces of the USA. His summary outlines the "essential elements" of a controlled clinical trial.

1962 - Four regional research support centers are established to provide VA investigators with access to techniques and specialized help such as research design, statistical methods, data management, computer programming, and biomedical engineering. Under the leadership of Lawrence Shaw and in conjunction with VA Central Office, these four centers (West Haven, CT; Hines, IL; Little Rock, AR; and Sepulveda, CA) coordinate VA clinical research studies.

1970 - Dr. Edward Freis and the VA Cooperative Study Group on Antihypertensive Agents publish the results of a landmark cooperative study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicating that use of antihypertensive drugs help prevent or delay serious cardiovascular events. This work eventually leads to Dr. Freis winning the Lasker Award and receiving a nomination for a Nobel Prize.

1972 - The CSP is established as a division of VA Medical Research Service (MRS) to coordinate multi-center clinical trials to evaluate novel therapies or new uses of standard treatments. The first CSP Coordinating Centers are established at Perry Point, MD and West Haven, CT. The CSP Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordinating Center (CSPCRPCC) is also created in Washington, DC.

1974 - The third CSP Coordinating Center is established at the Hines VA medical center

1977 - The CSPCRPCC moves to the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, NM.

1978 - The fourth CSP Coordinating Center is established at the Palo Alto VA Health Care System.

1990 - The Cooperative Studies in Health Services (CSHS) is created in partnership with the VA Health Services Research and Development Service.

1996 - CSHS is integrated into the CSP. CSP is detached from the Medical Research Service (MRS) to form a fourth independent research service within the VA Office of R&D.

1998 - Three Epidemiological Research and Information Centers (ERICs) are established within CSP to conduct observational population-based research. These centers are located in Boston, MA, Durham, NC, and Seattle, WA.

1999 - The Health Economics Resource Center at the Palo Alto VA Health Care System is established as the health economics coordinating center for CSP studies.

1999 - A DNA Bank at the Palo Alto VA Health Care System and a Biospecimen Repository at the Boston VA Medical Center are established.

2003 - A fifth CSP Coordinating Center is established at the Boston VA Medical Center by expanding the capacities of the Massachusetts Epidemiologic Research and Information Center (MAVERIC).

2003 - The CSP is integrated as part of the new Clinical Science Research & Development Service. With its expertise in clinical trials and epidemiology, the CSP plays a key role in clinical research efforts sponsored by VA.

2004 - The West Haven CSP Coordinating Center expands to include the Clinical Epidemiology Research Center.

2007 - A Pharmacogenomics Analysis Laboratory is initiated at the Little Rock VA Medical Center.

2011 - Launched the Million Veteran Program (MVP), which will establish one of the world's largest databases of health and genetic information, for use in future research aimed at preventing and treating illness among Veterans and all Americans.

2012 - The five CSP Coordinating Centers earned ISO 9001:2008 certification for quality management, an acknowledgement of exceptionally high standards in this area.

2012 - Launched the Network of Dedicated Enrollment Sites (NODES) pilot initiative establishing a consortium of VA medical centers that have teams in place dedicated to conducting CSP studies to enhance overall performance, compliance and management.

Questions about the R&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.