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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.

The VA PTSD/Service Dog Study

As authorized by Congress, VA completed a study to determine if service dogs can help Veterans with PTSD. Read about this study.

Resources for Administrators and Researchers

News About Animal Research

VA Research Currents and VA news releases

Lab studies seek hormone-based obesity treatment (Jan. 18, 2022)

Brain trauma: Combined treatment improves cell connectivity in important memory center of the brain, (Oct. 30, 2020)

Does smoking block potential benefits from stem cell therapy? (Sept. 1, 2020)

Lab study suggests way to stem long-term damage after brain injury (June 11, 2020)

Lab study: E-cigarettes may damage body’s ability to fight infection (Jan. 15, 2020)

Comprehending the effects of blasts (June 27, 2019)


VA Research news briefs

E-cigarettes may weaken muscle strength and healing (Nov. 3, 2022)

Bacteria transplantation could treat alcohol use disorder (Oct. 27, 2022)

Potential new treatment for cocaine use disorder (Dec. 27, 2021)

Daily fasting could improve metabolic health, suggests mouse study (Nov. 17, 2021)

Gulf War toxic exposure may be linked to damaging gene expression changes (Aug. 4, 2021)


Gene therapy could prevent learning and memory loss from Alzheimer’s disease (May 11, 2021)

Stem cell therapy offers potential treatment for ischemia (April 6, 2021)

Process behind kidney stone formation (March 31, 2021)

Bacteria immunization may improve stress response (Feb. 10, 2021)

Study: Shock waves can cause structural brain damage (Feb. 2, 2021)

Lab study sheds light on insomnia caused by alcohol withdrawal (Dec. 22, 2020)

New technique could improve wound healing (Dec. 10, 2020)

Cigarette smoke makes lung infection bacteria more dangerous (Oct. 28, 2020)

Potential new migraine medication developed (Aug. 12, 2020)

Possible molecular link between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and cancer (July 22, 2020)

Exercise training reduces protein linked to muscle pain (June 23, 2020)

Stem cells accelerate diabetic wound healing in mouse model (April 10, 2020)

Possible biomarkers of traumatic brain injury identified (March 6, 2020)

Understanding chemotherapy-resistant lung cancer (Jan. 30, 2020)

E-cigarettes may make it harder for the body to fight off infection (Nov. 18, 2019)

Mouse study explores benefits of calorie restriction (Nov. 1, 2019)

Dietary oils could help with diabetic nerve damage (Oct. 28, 2019)

Mouse study: Potential stroke treatment only effective in males (Sept. 26, 2019)

Mouse study probes nicotine addiction from e-cigarettes (August 15, 2019)

Rat study: Single injection protects against TBI damage in short term (June 27, 2019)

Pinpointing genetic targets for meth addiction (May 29, 2019)

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

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)

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.