Office of Research & Development

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VA Animal Research Program

VA Animal Research Program

Animal research has saved the lives of millions of Veterans, and will continue to do so.

Overview of Animal Research in VA

To conduct the research needed to improve medical care, we sometimes have to work with animal models. Studying animals is still the only scientifically viable way to get some of the knowledge we need to improve human health, and indeed the health of other animals that benefit from veterinary care. VA allows research with animals only if it is scientifically necessary and if animal-welfare safeguards are adhered to.

Resources for Administrators and Researchers


VA Research Currents and VA news releases

Gene transfer improves diabetes-linked heart ailment (March 27, 2019)

Tackling trauma, depression via the immune system (Dec. 11, 2018)

Hormone analogs as medical treatment(Nov. 6, 2018)

VA Research news briefs

Rat study: Brain injury can cause PTSD without psychological stressors (Feb. 14, 2019)

Understanding a cause of aortic aneurysm (March 8, 2019)

Study sheds light on pesticides-Alzheimer’s link (March 13, 2019)

Sedative prevents neuron cell growth after TBI (April 5, 2019)

Molecular delivery system takes arthritis drugs directly to joints (April 11, 2019)

Molecular brain damage after blast exposure (Dec. 26, 2018)

Lab study suggests heart benefits from widely used diabetes drug (Dec. 20, 2018)

Mouse study: Aspirin may slow multiple sclerosis (Nov. 29, 2018)

Omega-3 fatty acids boost neurological health after stroke in mice (Nov. 7, 2018)

Small molecule has potential as non-opioid pain drug (Nov. 2, 2018)

The role of fatty acids in diabetic neuropathy (Oct. 17, 2018)

Brain peptide implicated in migraine pain (Sept. 20, 2018)

News from our research partners

Pigment-producing stem cells can regenerate vital part of nervous system (May 6, 2019 - University of Maryland)

Scientists find new therapy target for drug-induced liver failure (March 6, 2019 - Experimental Biology)

Blocking protein's activity restores cognition in old mice, Stanford study shows (April 3, 2019 - Stanford Medicine)

Cancer prevention drug also disables H. pylori bacterium (March 28, 2019 - Vanderbilt University Medical Center)

Researchers discover a critical receptor involved in response to antidepressants like ketamine (March 28, 2019 - University of Maryland School of Medicine)

Researchers identify brain protein crucial to recovery from stroke (Feb. 11, 2019 - University of Pittsburgh)

Kidney-resident macrophages -- a role for healing during acute kidney injury? (Jan. 24, 2019 - University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Discovery of enhanced bone growth could lead to new treatments for osteoporosis (Jan. 17, 2019 - University of California, Los Angeles)

Scientists connect dots between colitis and colon cancer (Jan. 14, 2019 - Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University)

Activated PMN exosomes are pathogenic entities that cause destruction in the COPD lung (Jan. 11, 2019 - University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Stem cell-derived neurons stop seizures and improve cognitive function (Dec. 20, 2018 - Texas A&M University)

Successful bladder repair using silk fibroid scaffolds (Dec. 10, 2018 - Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News)

Lipid that aids normal skin turnover may help psoriasis (Nov. 27, 2018 - Medical College of Georgia at August University)

Treating spinal pain with replacement discs made of 'engineered living tissue' moves closer to reality (Nov. 21, 2018 - University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine)

Modeling the most common form of vision loss in older adults (Nov. 21, 2018 - University of Pennsylvania)

Anti-inflammatory drug effective for treating lymphedema symptoms (Oct. 18, 2018 - Stanford Medicine)

Hit 'em where they eat: Stealth drug fights resistant bacteria (Sept. 26, 2018 - University of Washington Health Sciences)

Being older helps skin heal with less scarring, and now researchers know why (Sept. 26, 2018 - University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine)

Skin wounds in older mice are less likely to scar (Sept. 25, 2018 - Cell Press)

New drug blocks pancreatic cancer growth in mice, study finds (Sept. 25, 2018 - Cedars-Sinai Medical Center)

Small molecule plays big role in weaker bones as we age (Sept. 18, 2018 - Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University)

A 'reset' of regulatory T-cells reverses chronic heart failure in mouse model (Sept. 10, 2018 - University of Alabama at Birmingham)

UA researchers to study, test potential drug candidates for deadly lung disease (Sept. 5, 2018 - University of Arizona Health Sciences)

Hormone therapy can make prostate cancer worse, study finds (Sept. 4, 2018 - Cedars-Sinai Medical Center)

Dopamine receptor study offers hope for improved treatments with fewer side effects (Aug. 31, 2018 - Columbia University Irving Medical Center)

Found: A destructive mechanism that blocks the brain from knowing when to stop eating (Aug. 22, 2018 - University of California, San Diego)

Stressed, toxic, zombie cells seen for 1st time in Alzheimer's(Aug. 21, 2018 - University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio)

First mouse model to mimic lung disease could speed discovery of more effective treatments (Aug. 16, 2018 - University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine)

Scientists reverse aging-associated skin wrinkles and hair loss in a mouse model(July 20, 2018 - University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Senolytics improve health, extend life: Preclinical research findings (July 9, 2018 - Mayo Clinic)

Progress in addressing a severe skin disease that affects dogs and humans (July 5, 2018 - University of Pennsylvania)

Can Aspirin Treat Alzheimer's? (July 2, 2018 - Rush University Medical Center)

Questions about the R&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.