Our Research Program - Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
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Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center


Our Research Program

Charleston Research Leadership Team

Amanda C. LaRue, Ph.D.
Associate Chief of Staff for Research     
Ralph H. Johnson VAMC
Charleston, SC 29401
Telephone: (843) 789-6707

Rick Vermillion
Administrative Officer for Research
Ralph H. Johnson VAMC
Charleston, SC 29401
Telephone: (843) 789-6710

The VA Research Program contributes significantly to the recruitment and retention of highly specialized clinical staff, many of whom are involved in research studies. Currently, there are more than 95 research investigators involved in over 190 research projects concerned with a broad range of health problems, most of which are prevalent in the Veteran patient population.  All four VA ORD research service programs, including Cooperative Studies, is represented in our portfolio of research, which allows our facility to (a) translate projects/studies from the bench to the clinic, (b) address all aspects of Veterans’ health, and (c) build collaborative, multidisciplinary teams that reflect the way health care is delivered in a VA hospital setting (e.g., PACT).

In FY 2016, Charleston VAMC received more than $10M in VA funding and over $14M of non-VA funding. The Council on Accreditation of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) commended the work of the Charleston VAMC for providing and maintaining an excellent program of laboratory animal care and use and renewed full accreditation.  This station has a VA non-profit research corporation, Charleston Research Institute, for accepting gifts, donations and grants to be used for VA research.

Significant areas of research include:

  1. Basic Research in Cardiology, Endocrinology, Diabetes Mellitus, Hematology/Oncology, Rheumatology, Nephrology and Alcohol-Related Disorders,
  2. Clinical Research in Mental Health, PTSD, Hypertension and Aging,
  3. Health Services Research in rural health and health disparities,
  4. Rehabilitation research in stroke injury, and
  5. Clinical Trials in Oncology.

Charleston VAMC’s research program is respected for the volume of VA and NIH funded research and its history of obtaining prestigious recognition such as the Center of Innovation (COIN) for the Health Services Research program. In addition, our VAMC has built a shared state-of-the-art core scientific equipment facility from over $4 million in grant funding. This core facility was built to enhance our translational research efforts and ensure that our researchers can continue developing novel and innovative treatments to improve the lives of our Veterans.