Chief Research and Development Officer
Rachel B. Ramoni, D.M.D., Sc.D., was named chief research and development officer (CRADO) for VA as of Jan. 8, 2017. She succeeds Dr. David Atkins, who had served as acting CRADO since April 2016.
Ramoni was previously on the faculty at New York University College of Dentistry in the department of epidemiology and health promotion, and at Harvard Medical School in the department of biomedical informatics.
While at Harvard, Ramoni founded 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."
Among Ramoni's research interests are informatics, genomics, and precision medicine. Prior to her role with the UDN, she was executive director of the Substitutable Medical Applications, Reusable Technologies project, or SMART. Initially launched with federal funding, SMART aims to make it easier for providers across different health systems to securely share information from electronic health records. The overarching goal is to improve the quality and continuity of care for patients.
Ramoni has also led research projects aimed at improving dental care nationwide. She worked on implementing standardized diagnostic terms for dentistry, and developing a patient safety system that would help dentists identify and prevent adverse events.
Ramoni 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. Her publications have appeared in Birth Defects Research, Epidemiology, Circulation, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the American Journal of Human Genetics, and numerous other journals. As a grant reviewer, she has served on the Special Emphasis Panel at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
As CRADO, Ramoni will oversee VA's nationwide research enterprise, encompassing some 2,000 active projects at more than 100 sites. The program's total budget in fiscal 2016 was $1.8 billion. The figure 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.