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Office of Research & Development

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Special Interest Groups for VA Researchers

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are comprised of researchers who share an interest in a particular topic. They help to encourage collaboration and networking among researchers and to inform new and ongoing areas of research. SIGs currently active in the VA research community are listed below. If you are interested in forming a new SIG or would like to have an existing SIG group represented on this page, please contact Tristan Horrom, VA Research Communications,

Please note that additional Special Interest Groups specific to VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) may be found on the HSR&D website.

Caregiving Research Special Interest Group

Caregivers play a critical role in the day-to-day support for Veterans of all eras. The purpose of the SIG on Caregiving Research is to stimulate quality research, foster collaborations among researchers, and stay current with the field. Our group welcomes VA and non-VA researchers, operational leaders, and policy leaders. The group is open to new members. Those interested can contact Victoria Ngo, Ph.D., at to be added to the group's listserv and to receive access to the group's website (please be sure to include your name, e-mail, and VA or academic affiliation).

Principal Contact:
Ranak B. Trivedi, Ph.D.
Center for Innovation to Implementation
VA Palo Alto Health Care System

More information on future SIG events:

Machine Learning and Applied AI

This group is for researchers interested in machine and deep learning, artificial intelligence, neural networks, natural language processing, data science, computer vision, and related topics. The group hosts meetings, shares research via presentations, shares ideas and suggestions, and helps members find collaborators to work with.

Principal Contact:
Sarah Kallassy, MBA, MA (she/her)
Strategic Communications and Partnerships Officer, PMF
National Artificial Intelligence Institute (NAII)
The Department of Veterans Affairs
Mobile: (202) 227-5571
Office: (202) 745-8000 x57529

Join the AI@VA Community:
AI@VA SharePoint: AI@VA - Community Home (
AI@VA on Teams:
Subscribe to our newsletter: Join the AI@VA Community

MDMA/Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy Group

This group is for researchers and VA clinicians interested in MDMA- and/or psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to collaborate, learn together, and support each other as this burgeoning field expands in the context of Veteran care.

Principal Contact:
Christopher Stauffer, M.D.
Portland VA Research & Mental Health
(360) 696-4061 x32017

Group Listserv contact: VAMDMA/

Listserv site: Distribution Groups (VA network access only)

Nutrition Research Special Interest Group

This group is for nutrition researchers to collaborate, learn together, and support each other as we move the science forward in our field. Our goals are to promote and display ongoing nutrition research projects within VA, recruit for future projects, and promote educational events and opportunities. In addition, our group is a resource to integrate and inspire health professional trainees to participate in nutrition research and evidence-based practice.

Principal Contact:
Mary Chew
Phoenix VA Health Care System
602-277-5551 x4048

Relevant links:

Nutrition Food Service Research Workgroup: Research - Home ( (VA network access only)

Nutrition Research Support Group MS Team: (VA network access only)

VA Women's Health Research Network Consortium

The VA Women's Health Research  Network (WHRN) Consortium is committed to advancing research to improve the health and healthcare of women Veterans through sharing of research findings and educational opportunities, networking, collaboration, and development of VA research priorities and strategies to expand women's health research in the future. The WHRN Consortium also supports HSR&D in activities related to the women's health research portfolio, including providing expertise for briefings, program evaluation, and special conferences. The WHRN is open to new members who are VA or non-VA researchers interested in women's health research and the health and health care of women Veterans. If you are interested in joining the VA Women's Health Researcher Listserv, go to and complete the information in the box on the right of the page. 

Principal Contacts: 

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.