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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Research Initiatives


Research Initiatives

The National Center for PTSD is a world leader in research into the prevention, causes, assessment, and treatment of traumatic stress disorders. During FY 2013, researchers from the National Center were involved in over 113 research projects ranging from small studies taking place at a single location to large multi-site projects.

Each of the National Center's seven divisions has its own area of specialization, giving researchers access to different types of expertise across many geographical areas of the country. Besides its own staff, the National Center has built strong collaborative relationships with institutions and agencies from VA, other branches of government, the health care community, and academia, giving researchers a vast array of partners for research activities.

Most importantly, these activities are enriched by constant contact with clinicians who are directly involved in patient care, giving the research activities a uniquely real-world perspective.

  • Executive Division Research
    Located in White River Junction, VT, the Executive Division directs the policy and program planning of the National Center. Division staff are also involved in clinical trials and research in disaster mental health.
  • Behavioral Science Division Research
    The Behavioral Science Division in Boston, MA, conducts research in a wide variety of specialties, including projects focusing on epidemiology, treatment research, trauma-related assessment, post-deployment psychology, stress-related psychophysiology, and more.
  • Clinical Neurosciences Division Research
    The Clinical Neurosciences Division in West Haven, CT, has made enormous strides in recent years in the neurobiology of PTSD, including research in genetics, brain structure and functioning, molecular imaging techniques, and pharmacology, among other specialties.
  • Dissemination & Training Division Research
    In addition to their key role in knowledge dissemination and implementation for the National Center for PTSD, this Division, headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, conducts research on health services, clinical needs, and treatments.
  • Evaluation Division Research
    The Northeast Program Evaluation Center (NEPEC), headquartered in West Haven, CT, has responsibility for the evaluation of VA's mental health programs, including those for specialized treatment of PTSD. It also serves as the evaluation arm of the National Center for PTSD.
  • Pacific Islands Division Research
    The Pacific Islands Division in Honolulu, HI, was created to advance PTSD work in the Pacific Rim. Research activities at this Division focus on ethnocultural issues, Active Duty personnel, and the evaluation of telehealth, or approaches that allow long-distance access care for Veterans who live in locations far from VA medical facilities.
  • Women's Health Sciences
    This Division, located in Boston, MA, specializes in women Veterans and Active Duty personnel, including research related to cognitive behavioral treatments, psychological and physical health, and interpersonal violence.
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