Office of Research & Development

VA Animal Research Program

VA Animal Research Program

The knowledge gained from appropriate animal research can protect people from harm.

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

Drug that acts like ketamine—but without the potential for abuse or psychotic effects—eases depression in lab tests (Dec. 8, 2017)

Early-life pain may contribute to obesity risk, finds rat study (June 7, 2017)

Lithium, long used for other brain conditions, may hold promise for TBI (May 18, 2017))

Study: Electroacupuncture eases pain through stem-cell release (March 16, 2017)

VA Research news briefs

Lab study suggests curcumin could improve memory, mood in Gulf War illness (Feb. 27, 2018)

Protein related to migraine may not be as important to blood pressure regulation as previously thought (Feb. 15, 2018)

Mouse model of PTSD sleep disturbances (Feb. 2, 2018)

Protein shown to suppress breast cancer growth in mice (Dec. 14, 2017)

Protein treatment may protect against TBI damage, finds mice study (Sep. 6, 2017)

Intestinal fungi play role in alcoholic liver disease (June 14, 2017)

Possible biomarker of Gulf War illness identified (May  18, 2017)

News from our research partners

Researchers Use Human Neural Stem Cell Grafts to Repair Spinal Cord Injuries in Monkeys (Feb. 26, 2018 - UC San Diego)

Texas A&M-led collaborative study takes aim at non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (Feb. 21, 2018 - Texas A&M University)

Peptide Improves Glucose and Insulin Sensitivity, Lowers Weight in Mice (Feb. 7, 2018 - UC San Diego Health)

Antioxidant therapy prevents vision loss in rare birth defect (Feb. 07, 2018 - University of Buffalo)

Chronic use of E-cigarettes may cause organ damage (Feb. 7, 2018 - VA San Diego Healthcare System)

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.