Ralph G. DePalma, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Dr. DePalma serves as Special Operations Officer in VA Office of Research and Development. His current responsibilities include review of ORD's Surgical Research portfolio, identification of priority areas and direction of surgical research and analysis of research on traumatic brain injury and polytrauma. He works with DOD and other federal agencies and private agencies to coordinate and align research efforts. He previously served as National Director, Surgical Services for Medical - Surgical Services, Office of Patient Care Services in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) at Veterans Administration Central Office in Washington, D.C. 2000-2008 and as Director of Transplant Services from 2005-2010. Dr. DePalma received his medical degree with honors from New York University College of Medicine and completed surgical residency and vascular training at University Hospitals of Cleveland. He served in the United States Air Force as a flight surgeon in Strategic Air Command and as Chief of Surgery at the 4973rd USAF Hospital, Spain. He has held a number of leadership positions in American Surgery including Professor of Surgery at Case Western Reserve University, Chair of Surgery at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Chair of Surgery at George Washington University, Associate Dean at the University of Nevada and Chief of Surgery at the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System. He served as PI for VA CSP 410, Iron and Atherosclerosis, leading three substudies on biomarkers. He is lead or co-author of 280 journal articles and chapters and has edited five books. Key publications include Blast Injuries NEJM 2005; Surgical Quality Assessments in surgical journals; and during 2010 and 2011, relationships between elevated serum ferritin levels, inflammatory biomarkers and mortality. He has served on the DOD brain injury
Computational Modeling Expert Panel and presented aspects of the history and epidemiology of mild traumatic brain injury at the 2011 Human Factors NATO Conference.