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Explore VA Central Arkansas's research initiatives with specialty programs in geriatrics, mental health, pharmacogenomics, and bone disease. You can also volunteer to participate in a research study.

Volunteer for a research study

Veterans can learn more about opportunities to participate in clinical trials conducted at CAVHS at the U.S. National Library of Medicine Clinical Trial website.

Learn more about our Sequenced Treatment Effectiveness for Posttraumatic Stress - STEPS - study

CAVHS Research highlights

  • Dr. Stavros Manolagas, MD, PhD received the Middleton Award, one of VA’s top research awards for outstanding research in osteoporosis and other bone diseases.
  • Drs. Kalpana Padala and Shuk-Mei Ho established a new inter-disciplinary team to study the toxic effects of open burn pits for Veterans exposed during military service.
  • Dr. Prasad Padala is testing a new treatment, transcranial magnetic stimulation, for cognitive decline in older Veterans.
  • Dr. Sara Landes is implementing Caring Contacts for suicide prevention in the Emergency Departments of 28 VA facilities.

  • Dr. Kimberly Garner established the Advance Care Planning – Group Visits program, which has been implemented in 52 VA facilities. Dr. Monica Matthieu received QUERI funding to evaluate this program.

  • Drs. Elena Ambrogini and Stavros Manolagas discovered that natural antibodies prevent bone resorption, which could lead to new approaches to prevent and treat osteoporosis.

  • Dr. JoAnn Kirchner received QUERI funding for training over 200 VA and non-VA clinicians, operations staff, and researchers in implementation facilitation, an evidence-based implementation strategy.

  • Drs. Ellen Fischer and Geoffrey Curran are studying Veterans’ perceptions, attitudes, and other attributes that could be modified to increase Veteran use of VHA mental health services.

  •  Drs. Teresa Hudson and Mary Bollinger are working with Acxiom Corporation to obtain data on Veterans who do not use VHA care that could lead to improved community-based suicide prevention programs.

  •  Drs. Robert Reis and Srinivas Ayyadevara are investigating how improperly folded proteins contribute to neurodegeneration such as that which causes Alzheimer's disease.

  •  Drs. Jay Mehta and Raj Kore determined that suppressing inflammation and cell death during models of heart attack have cardioprotective effects, diminish heart damage, and preserve cardiac function.  

CAVHS Research supports the VHA  mission

The research program's mission, vision, and values are tailored to help CAVHS and VHA honor America's Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves Veteran health and well-being.

Mission, Vision, Values


CAVHS Research develops and supports research activities that advance knowledge about health and health care to improve Veterans' health and well-being.


CAVHS Research strives to be a thriving and growing community of scientists and clinicians who conduct high-impact, high-priority, and safe research to improve Veterans' lives.


CAVHS Research believes in and applies the VA ICARE values. Integrity is promoting a culture of research compliance and ethical research. Commitment is our assurance to Veterans of quality in rigorous science, career development, regulatory compliance, animal welfare, safety, privacy and information security. Advocacy involves promoting our research findings, our research program, and its impacts on Veterans’ health and well-being. Respect is our respect for persons, as called for by the Belmont Report, respect for co-workers, and respect for the contributions of Veterans, UAMS and other partners, and all stakeholders in VA research. Excellence is the expectation that CAVHS researchers conduct research that improves the health and well-being of Veterans and that excellence in research leadership and administration stimulates growth of our program.

CAVHS Research facts

  • CAVHS investigators are conducting over 200 research studies funded by the VA, the National Institutes of Health, and biomedical industry in cardiology, infectious disease, nephrology, nursing, oncology, vascular surgery, and many aspects of mental health.
  • CAVHS is home to six nationally and internationally recognized research centers in geriatrics, mental health, pharmacogenomics, and bone disease.
  • CAVHS is conducting approximately 20 studies on COVID-19.  These studies are investigating the consequences of the infection to Veterans and potential treatments including vaccination.
  • CAVHS has full accreditation to conduct research for its Human Subjects Protection Program and its animal research program.  This accreditation status was gained from:
    • Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP)
    • Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC)