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PTSD: National Center for PTSD


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Research Initiatives


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This section is about our Mission, Vision, Staff, & Press Room

Research Initiatives

The National Center for PTSD helps to improve care of Veterans and others affected by trauma through its strong commitment to research on the prevention, causes, assessment, and treatment of traumatic stress disorders. During fiscal year 2014, National Center investigators led 117 funded studies, ranging from small studies taking place at a single location to large multi-site projects. The Center continues to align its portfolio with the Operational Priorities identified in 2013 to optimally serve the field and carry out the Center's mission. These priorities include (1) Biomarkers, (2) DSM-5, (3) Treatment efficiency, effectiveness, and engagement, (4) Care delivery, models of care, and system factors, and (5) Implementation.

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
    The Executive Division in White River Junction, VT, supports the National Center's mission by providing leadership, directing program planning, and promoting collaboration in order to facilitate optimal functioning of each division individually and collectively. The Division specializes in the development of innovative and authoritative educational resources, programs that disseminate and implement best management and clinical practices, and the use of technologies to reach a broad range of audiences.
  • Behavioral Science Division Research
    The Behavioral Science Division in Boston, MA, specializes in the study of the role of behavior in adaptation to traumatic stress to advance knowledge of the mechanisms, course, assessment, and treatment of stress- and trauma-related psychopathology.
  • Clinical Neurosciences Division Research
    The Clinical Neurosciences Division in West Haven, CT, specializes in neurobiological, imaging, and genetic studies of the physical basis of traumatic stress, risk and resilience factors, and pharmacotherapy and rehabilitation for PTSD and comorbid conditions.
  • Dissemination & Training Division Research
    The Dissemination and Training Division in Palo Alto, CA, specializes in research on provider and patient needs and preferences, implementation and effectiveness of evidence-based assessments and treatments in CA and community settings, and development and testing of novel assessments and treatments that exploit the potential unique benefits of technology-based delivery of services to improve access, quality and outcomes in VA care.
  • Evaluation Division Research
    The Evaluation Division supports the National Center's mission through a programmatic link with VA's Northeast Program Evaluation Center, which has broad responsibilities within VA Office of Mental Health Operations to evaluate their programs, including those for specialized treatment of PTSD.
  • Pacific Islands Division Research
    The Pacific Islands Division in Honolulu, HI, specializes in improving access to care for active duty personnel and Veterans by improving understanding of cultural attitudes and the use of advanced technology such as telemedicine to reach out to Veterans unable to access adequate care.
  • Women's Health Sciences Division Research
    The Women's Health Sciences Division in Boston, MA, specializes in the assessment and treatment of the psychological and physical health impact of military service on women, as well as military sexual trauma in men and women.
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Also see: VA Mental Health