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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Research Initiatives

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Research Initiatives

The National Center for PTSD helps to improve the 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 2017, National Center investigators led 139 funded studies -- ranging from small studies to large multi-site projects - and authored 279 publications with an additional 140 in press and advance online publications. The Center continues to align its portfolio with the Operational Priorities identified in 2013, and updated in 2017, to optimally serve the field and carry out the Center's mission. These priorities include (1) Biomarkers, (2) PTSD and suicide, (3) DSM-5, (4) Treatment efficiency, effectiveness, and engagement, (5) Care delivery, models of care, and system factors, and (6) 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, provides leadership, directs program planning, and promotes collaboration in order to facilitate optimal functioning of each division of the National Center. The Executive Division specializes in the development of innovative and authoritative educational resources, in programs that disseminate and implement best management and clinical practices, and in the use of technologies to reach a broad range of audiences. This Division also oversees the administration of VA's National PTSD Brain Bank.
  • Behavioral Science Division Research
    The Behavioral Science Division in Boston, MA, conducts research on adjustment after military deployment, assessment methods, genomic and neuroscience mechanisms linked to psychopathology, and innovative approaches to clinical intervention and treatment delivery.
  • Clinical Neurosciences Division Research
    The Clinical Neurosciences Division in West Haven, CT, focuses on research designed to uncover biomarkers of disease mechanisms, as well as on clinical research that investigates paradigms of risk and resilience. The Clinical Neurosciences Division utilizes an interdisciplinary approach that includes neuroimaging, treatment, genetics, and epidemiological studies targeted at translating discoveries from the lab into interventions for treating PTSD and comorbid conditions.
  • Dissemination & Training Division Research
    The Dissemination and Training Division in Palo Alto, CA, conducts research on patient needs and preferences, implementation science, the development of novel and adapted treatments that attend to patient preferences, and the development and testing of treatments that employ the potential benefits of technology-based delivery of services.
  • Evaluation Division Research
    The Evaluation Division in West Haven, CT, supports the National Center's mission through a programmatic link with VA's Northeast Program Evaluation Center (NEPEC), which has broad responsibilities within VA's Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (OMHSP) to evaluate their programs, including those for specialized treatment of PTSD.
  • Pacific Islands Division Research
    The Pacific Islands Division in Honolulu, HI, was created to advance PTSD work in the Pacific Rim; to focus on improving access to care by increasing understanding of cultural attitudes and the bases of racial and ethnic disparities in treatment; and to evaluate 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 study of women Veterans and non-Veterans, with a particular focus on understanding gender differences in trauma exposure and polytrauma psychopathology.

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PTSD Information Voice Mail:
(802) 296-6300
ncptsd@va.gov
Also see: VA Mental Health