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Washington Highlights

FOVA Hosts Research Briefing on Million Veteran Program

July 18, 2014—The Friends of VA Medical Care and Health Research (FOVA) coalition July 15 hosted a congressional briefing with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Research and Development on the Million Veteran Program (MVP).

The goal of MVP is to build one of the world’s largest medical databases tied to the VA’s electronic health record system to study how genes affect health. Data collected from MVP will be stored anonymously for research on personalized medicine, military-related illnesses, and chronic conditions prevalent in VA’s aging population, such as diabetes and cancer.

VA’s Chief Research and Development Officer Timothy O’Leary, M.D., Ph.D., discussed the importance of the VA research program to improving care for veterans and the nation as a whole. As an example, he highlighted the VA’s groundbreaking work demonstrating the lifesaving value of treating hypertension.

John Concato, M.D., director, VA Clinical Epidemiology Research Center; professor of medicine, Yale University School of Medicine; and co-principal investigator for the MVP, described the program’s progress to date. Already, nearly 300,000 veterans have volunteered and donated blood samples. He noted that several initial studies will focus on mental health research, including genetic susceptibility for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

John Bradley, III, senior advisor at the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and a veteran, spoke about his personal experience participating with the MVP.

The AAMC is a founding member of FOVA and a member of the FOVA Executive Committee.


Matthew Shick, JD
Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
Telephone: 202-862-6116


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806