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Office of Research & Development

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VA ORD Research Programs

Funded Field Centers

HSR Centers of Innovation (COINs) and Resource Centers

There are 18 HSR Centers of Innovation (COINs) and 2 Resource Centers located throughout the US.

The COIN program rewards research innovations and partnerships to ensure that research has the greatest possible impact on VHA policies, healthcare practices, and health outcomes for Veterans.

Resource Centers provide support to central office leadership and field investigators by disseminating HSR research findings; providing information and consultation about VA data; and connecting researchers with each other through ongoing education and symposia.

RR&D Centers and REAPs

Rehabilitation R&D Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation

Atlanta, GA
The mission of the Atlanta VAMC Rehabilitation R&D Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation (CVNR) is to foster the health and well-being of veterans through uniquely synergistic research impacting visual and/or neurocognitive function.

Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders

Boston, MA
The RR&D Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders (TRACTS) promotes multidisciplinary research aimed at improving our understanding of the complex cognitive and emotional problems faced by OEF/OIF/OND veterans. The Center focuses on innovations in the diagnosis of mild TBI and in the development of treatments that target the combined effects of TBI and stress-related disorders. This goal is accomplished in part with an extensive longitudinal cohort study that includes advanced neuroimaging techniques, genetics and data that will lead to the development of a deep characterization of the clinical phenotypes that affect this generation of veterans.

Rehabilitation Promoting Prevention and Improved Resilience

Boston, MA
The RR&D Rehabilitation Promoting Prevention and Improved Resilience (REPPAIR) REAP promotes multidisciplinary research aimed at optimizing the 3 M's: Mobility, the Mind, and Motivation in Veterans. The REAP focuses on innovations in the development of personalized rehabilitation interventions for secondary preventative care to improve the functional status of Veterans through understanding Mobility (physical function), the Mind (cognitive function), and Motivation (long-term engagement). This goal is accomplished in part with a data repository that includes advanced neuroimaging data and interfaces with the VA electronic medical records for extensive phenotyping. The REAP also accomplishes its mission by supporting early-stage investigators in rehabilitation medicine through pilot funding and mentorship.

Center for Advanced Platform Technology

Cleveland, OH
The Center for Advanced Platform Technology (APT) develops advanced technologies that serve the clinical needs of veterans with motor and sensory deficits and limb loss to provide clinician-researchers within the VA with new tools for rehabilitation, treatment and scientific inquiry that lead to independence and enhanced societal participation.

Center for Functional Electrical Stimulation

Cleveland, OH

The National Center for Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES Center) is a global leader in neurostimulation and neuromodulation research addressing unmet rehabilitation needs of Veterans and civilians with spinal cord injury (SCI) and neural illnesses. FES Center research thrusts include: movement restoration, autonomic system, brain health, pain, and tools & technology.

Engineer, Scientist and Clinician Investigators from Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Cleveland are consortium members within the FES Center. Participation of greater than 150 members with clinical, technical, and academic backgrounds; the FES Center performs cutting-edge research focused on development and clinical translation of a spectrum of rehabilitation interventions based in functional electrical stimulation.

The Cleveland FES Center is located in the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. The medical center provides state-of-the-art research facilities and ongoing support for the FES Center program. The FES Center provides resources including (1) physical infrastructure (e.g., implanted medical device fabrication facilities, implant-ready devices, motion studies laboratory, specialized experimental equipment) and (2) specialized technical expertise (e.g., highly experienced implant device engineers, occupational and physical therapists, IRB and FDA regulatory experts, statistical support, medical illustration support). Additionally, the FES Center facilitates within consortium partners, providing grants administration, fiscal & purchasing support, dedicated communications & media management, and has significant experience with developing scientific conferences and live webinar series.

Brain Rehabilitation Research Center

Gainesville, Florida

The Brain Rehabilitation Research Center (BRRC) is a Center  in Gainesville, Florida, funded since 1999 by the Rehabilitation Research and Development Service. The mission of the BRRC is to develop and test treatments that harness neuroplasticity to substantially improve or restore motor, cognitive, and emotional functions impaired by neurologic disease or injury.

The BRRC coordinates the efforts of scientists and therapists from many different fields such as: bioengineering, communication sciences, computer programming, health psychology, kinesiology, medicine, neurology, neuroscience, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physiology, psychology, rehabilitation science, and speech therapy. Types of research conducted at the BRRC include work on robotics, computer simulation, brain imaging, genetic influences on recovery of function, drugs that may enhance the brain's response to physical and behavioral therapies, and translational research that facilitates the exchange between laboratory and clinical science to hasten and improve research findings.

Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss

Iowa City, IA
Research at the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss focuses on the early detection of potential blinding disorders of the Veteran and general population, including retinal disease, glaucoma, and traumatic brain injury. We are testing new ways of determining the earlier signs of progression and response to treatment, and developing new treatment innovations to improve the quality of vision and life. Areas of exploration include the use of telemedicine and computer aided diagnosis for the detection of eye disease, as well as neuroprotection and neuromodulation for prevention of nerve loss and restoration of function.

Center on Enhancing Community Integration for Homeless Veterans

Los Angeles, CA

Homelessness in Veterans is a widespread, vexing problem, and an urgent priority at the national level. The VA has made substantial progress in housing Veterans. Despite impressive progress in providing housing for Veterans, a fundamental problem remains. Permanent housing is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for successful community integration. Providing housing is only the first step in facilitating recovery among many homeless Veterans; once housed, they will need different types of assistance to integrate into communities. Community integration does not arise automatically once housing is provided.

Our Center on Enhancing Community Integration for Homeless Veterans is linked to the homeless programs at VA Greater Los Angeles to serve as an interdisciplinary center for intervention and translational research. This Center fills a critical gap: the problem of community integration for Veterans once housing has been provided. The mission of this Center on Enhancing Community Integration for Homeless Veterans is to understand and to improve community integration in homeless Veterans after they receive housing.

For more information please go to

Contact: Michael F. Green, PhD:

Rehabilitation & Engineering Center for Optimizing Veteran Engagement & Reintegration

Minneapolis, MN

The mission of the Rehabilitation & Engineering Center for Optimizing Veteran Engagement & Reintegration (RECOVER) is to maximize Veteran participation in important lifelong roles and activities through development, evaluation, and clinical translation of practical rehabilitation interventions and technologies. Since barriers to participation may change as Veterans with disabilities age or experience other life events, RECOVER aims to identify and help Veterans adapt to these changes. RECOVER’s work primarily focuses on the needs of Veterans with amputations and Veterans with spinal cord injuries and disorders, with cross-cutting emphases on (1) pain, discomfort, and secondary complications, and (2) aging with a disability.

Cartilage Regeneration using Advanced Technologies to Enable Motion (CReATE Motion) Center

Philadelphia, PA

The CReATE Motion Center aims to develop cutting-edge strategies for joint tissue regeneration and restoration for Veterans with arthritis and related conditions. Our mission is to restore joint function and transform the long-term health of our Veterans with arthritis by:

  • developing a translational pipeline for advanced regenerative therapies by cultivating core infrastructure and intellectual expertise
  • driving innovation of regenerative approaches for the treatment of osteoarthritis from early through advanced stages
  • supporting pre-clinical and clinical trial design and execution to ensure rapid translation of emergent technologies to first-in-human clinical trials.

Center for Wheelchairs and Associated Rehabilitation Engineering

Pittsburgh, PA
The Center for Wheelchairs and Associated Rehabilitation Engineering strives to improve the mobility and function of people with disabilities through advanced engineering in clinical research and medical rehabilitation. They have made important contributions in advanced wheelchair design, robotics and intelligent systems, human machine interfaces for manipulation and mobility, smart device applications for coaching Veterans and clinicians, and novel approaches to the delivery of assistive technology.

National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research

Portland, OR

The National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) is the only VA National Center dedicated to addressing the needs of Veterans with hearing and auditory system disorders.

The NCRAR's cross-disciplinary program encompasses diagnosis and assessment, rehabilitation, and prevention. Specific research areas include aging and the auditory system, auditory rehabilitation, ear-brain system, hearing aids, hearing conservation, ototoxicity, tinnitus, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and vestibular evaluation and rehabilitation.

The Center also trains and mentors new scientists, disseminates information to clinicians who assess and treat Veterans with hearing disabilities, and serves as an educational and scientific resource for Veterans and the community.

The VA Center for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology (CfNN)

Providence, RI
The Center for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology (CfNN) strives to unify distinguished researchers and clinicians from the Providence VA Medical Center and Brown University, and its affiliated hospitals, to advance and translate neurotechnology to restore lost function. Specifically through its four focus areas and two support cores, the CfNN seeks to develop, test, and implement new therapies and technologies that can restore function in disorders of the nervous system that impair movement, emotion, or cognition in the Veteran population.

Center for Limb Loss and Mobility

Seattle, WA
Our center's mission is to unite investigators in diverse fields in basic and clinical research to improve the quality of life and functional status of veteran amputees and veterans who are at risk for amputation. The two general areas of research are Limb Loss Prevention and Prosthetic Engineering. Our focus is on translational research with a three to five year timeline for clinical impact.

For more information please go to

West Haven Center for Restoration of Nervous System Function

West Haven, CT
The goal of West Haven Center for Restoration of Nervous System Function is to develop new therapeutic approaches that will improve function and quality of life of Veterans with injuries of the nervous system. Our Center's focus, initially on SCI, MS, and nerve injury, has expanded to include major emphasis on neuropathic pain associated with traumatic nerve injury, traumatic limb amputation, injuries such as burn, and disorders such as diabetic neuropathy.

Our Center brings together multiple research teams in a focused, multidisciplinary effort to capitalize on the "molecular revolution". We are a world-wide bub for studies on pain genetics and pain pharmacogenomics, and are investigating, for example, why some Veterans experience intractable neuropathic pain after nerve injury, while others with similar injuries do not; and why some Veterans with neuropathic pain respond to pain pharmacotherapy while others do not. We want to harness this molecular knowledge to develop new and more effective approaches to therapy. While it is not yet here, we are moving as rapidly as we can toward the development of new, more effective and non-addictive pain medications, and believe that "personalized', genomically-guided pain treatment is an achievable objective.

For more information, please visit



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