History of VA Research & Accomplishments

Our research at the VA Research is constantly working to improve lives through scientific research. Below are just a few examples of our research in action:

  • As part of the SPRINT group, published results from a major trial showing that lower blood pressure targets could have cardiovascular and survival benefits from some patients.
  • Nobel Prize awarded to researcher Dr. Ferid Murad (who had been at Palo Alto VA 1981-1986) for his discoveries relating to nitric oxide, a body chemical that helps maintain healthy blood vessels (1998).
  • Demonstrated that one aspirin tablet a day reduced by half the rate of death and nonfatal heart attacks in patients with unstable angina (1994).
  • Developed Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) systems that allow patients to move paralyzed limbs (1991).
  • Nobel Prize awarded to VA researchers Dr. Andrew Schally, for his research on peptide hormone production in the brain; and Dr. Rosalyn Yalow, for her development of radioimmunoassay to detect and measure various substances in the blood (1977).
  • Pioneered the concepts that led to development of computerized axial tomography (CAT scan), 1960.
  • Invented the implantable cardiac pacemaker, helping many patients prevent potentially life-threatening complications from irregular heartbeats (1958).

Here's a view of the timeline of VA research accomplishments.

Presidential Awards to Three VA Investigators

In March, 2016, the White House honored three VA investigators, among 105 federal researchers in all, with Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor given by the U.S. government to science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

VA Researchers: Recipients of 3 Noble Prizes

Rosalyn Yalow

Shares 1977 Nobel Prize for revolutionary development of radioimmunoassays.

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Ferid Murad, 

1998 Nobel Prize co-winner for role of nitric oxide maintaining healthy blood vessels.

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Andrew Schally

Shares 1977 Nobel prize for discovery of brain peptide hormone production

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Wilson Greatbatch

First practical implantable pacemaker preserved millions of lives

Non-Profit Foundations: Helping to keep VA Research cutting edge

VA researchers from the Phoenix VAMC show how non-profit foundations help keep VA Research on the cutting edge. This relationship will be featured during the 2012 VA Research Week Forum April 26 at VA Central Office. See www.research.va.gov for the Section 508 compliant version of this video.