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Atlanta VA Research

Overview and Mission of the Atlanta VA Research Program

Headshot Mike Hart

C. Mike Hart MD

Associate Chief of Staff/R&D

VA Atlanta health care

Email: Michael.Hart3@va.gov

Headshot Ashley Scales

Ashley Scales PhD

Director Research Operations

VA Atlanta health care

Email: Ashley.Scales@va.gov

The Mission of the Research Program

  • To further integrate research activities into healthcare delivery and enhance the awareness of our patients, providers and partners
  • To support the research and clinical missions of the VA by facilitating the recruitment and retention of the best clinician and non-clinician scientists to conduct research resulting in the highest quality care
  • To enhance excellence in physician training with multidisciplinary research programs
  • To enhance the clinical care mission by fostering research that investigates novel approaches to improve the delivery of care

Our Research Programs

The Atlanta Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center conducts a highly active research program which is near the top ten in the nation and is largely conducted by VA physician-scientists who are also faculty members at Emory University School of Medicine or Morehouse School of Medicine. The program is fortunate to include one of the national VA Rehabilitation Research Centers of Excellence, a growing Health Services and Clinical R&D research program, and research programs focused on medical and clinical problems, rehabilitation medicine and engineering, as well as health services and outcomes research. The research program involves over 400 projects conducted by 140 research investigators with support from more than 300 research associates and staff. These research projects cover a broad range of subjects, including bacterial infection; diabetes; development of new anti-HIV and -HBV (hepatitis) agents; low vision devices and aids; low vision and disequilibrium in the elderly; engineering and environmental design of facilities; genetics and regulation of bone growth and remodeling; developing gene therapy for diabetes; hormone action; kidney mechanisms of hypertension; growth factor interactions in lung development and disease; the genetics of cancer; control of blood vessel contraction; drug addiction; clinical anxiety and mood disorders; post-traumatic stress disorder; disorders of memory and cognition; and clinical management problems in hypertension, oncology, gastroenterology and pulmonary medicine. The total research budget exceeds $25,000,000 in direct costs per year, with approximately 1/3 funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the remainder funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and other sources. Laboratory research is performed in a 40,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility that offers laboratories and core areas to support a wide variety of multidisciplinary programs.

To accomplish this mission, we host research in a broad spectrum of medical fields that foster basic and clinical research that directly enhances veteran health care by treating and curing disease, translating novel interventions to the clinic and creating an environment where healthcare encounters are transformed into research opportunities.  This goal will be accomplished by supporting a wide array of research projects and activities and by providing the highest quality resources to the Atlanta VA Research community.

The Atlanta VA Medical Center research program is closely affiliated with Emory University and benefits from partnerships with other Atlanta area institutions including Morehouse School of Medicine, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The close proximity of these institutions and our shared interests in developing the highest quality research programs provides an outstanding environment for basic and clinical research programs.  The Atlanta VA Medical Center also partners with the Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance (Georgia CTSA) as a hospital-based clinical interaction site. The Georgia CTSA is focused on accelerating the translation of laboratory discoveries into healthcare innovations for patients by supporting Atlanta VA Medical Center, Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta investigators. The Georgia CTSA is one of a national consortium funded through the National Institutes of Health that shares a common vision to translate laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, engage communities in clinical research efforts, and train the next generation of clinical investigators

Please visit the links at the top this page to learn more about our research programs, the investigators who conduct studies at the Atlanta VA Medical Center and links to program descriptions from the VA Office of Research and Development.  Research investigators can find links to information related to starting research programs at the Atlanta VA.

Learn about participating in VA Research.

Thank you for your interest in research at the Atlanta VA!  Please let us know if you require additional information.