Chief Research and Development Officer
Rachel B. Ramoni, D.M.D., Sc.D., is the chief research and development officer (CRADO) for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Rachel assumed her role in January 2017. She is responsible for developing and executing the strategy for VA's nationwide research enterprise, which encompasses more than 2,200 active projects at more than 100 sites. VA research is supported by a nearly $2 billion dollar budget (for fiscal year 2019), which includes both direct VA support and research funding from outside entities such as the National Institutes of Health, other federal agencies, and nonprofit and private organizations.
Rachel has a longstanding commitment to patient-centered return-on-investment. This is reflected in her five strategic research priorities: (1) increasing Veterans' access to high-quality clinical trials, (2) increasing the substantial real-world impact of VA research; (3) putting VA data to work for Veterans; (4) actively promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion; and (5) building community through VA research. She has overseen the implementation of an array of initiatives to advance these priorities, including joint efforts with the National Cancer Institute, Department of Energy, Prostate Cancer Foundation, and numerous other federal and non-federal partners.
Rachel previously served on the faculty at New York University College of Dentistry in the Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion and at the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School.
While at Harvard, Rachel established and led the Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) Coordinating Center. The UDN, funded by the National Institutes of Health, brings together clinical and research experts from across the U.S. to solve challenging medical mysteries using advanced technologies. The Boston Globe called the network a "powerful new way to diagnose mystery illnesses."
Prior to her work with the UDN, Rachel was executive director of the Substitutable Medical Applications, Reusable Technologies project, or SMART. It resulted in the SMART on FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) technology, which enables electronic health record apps to be developed once and run across disparate systems. This technology is now broadly used by companies like Apple, Cerner, and Epic.
Rachel earned a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry degree from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, as well as a Master of Science and Doctor of Science in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. She also holds certificates in dental public health and oral epidemiology.