Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island
Providence VAMC Dedicates New Research Center of Excellence
In an important step towards helping Veterans—and ultimately other people—with psychiatric or neurological conditions, as well as limb loss, the Providence VA Medical Center conducted a dedication ceremony/open house for its new Research Center of Excellence for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology (CfNN) today in the Medical Center’s Research Building 32.
The CfNN began with a June 2012 funding award of $900,000 per year/for the next 5 years from the Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service. The Center is a collaboration among the Providence VA Medical Center, the Brown Institute for Brain Science at Brown University, Butler Hospital, Lifespan, and Massachusetts General Hospital. This collaboration unifies distinguished researchers and clinicians in advancing and translating new therapies and technologies to restore function in disorders of major interest to Veteran populations, including spinal cord injury, limb loss, stroke, post-traumatic stress disorder, pain, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and depression.
“This new Research Center of Excellence is just one more example of the VA’s commitment to cutting-edge research to optimize functions for Veterans with disabilities,” said Robert A. Petzel, MD, Under Secretary for Health, Veterans Health Administration. “This collaborative research reflects our continuing commitment to innovative use of technologies that optimize function for Veterans with disabilities.”
“This new Center of Excellence is a major new asset for brain science research, the fruits of which will benefit both our Veterans and the broader population,” says Vincent Ng, Medical Center Director. The Center combines a Clinical Research Support Core with a Neuroimaging Core to support research and development in four focus areas:
• Development of brain computer interfaces for people with paralysis or limb loss
• Prosthetic limb evaluation and translation to use
• Robotic and imaging-guided neurorehabilitation technology and testing
• Neuromodulation technology for neurorehabilitation in pain, depression, and PTSD
“The collaboration that the Department of Veterans Affairs has brought together in the CfNN highlights the extraordinary concentration of expertise in Providence in brain science research and treatment,” said Dr. Edward Wing, dean of medicine and biological sciences at Brown University. “Each of the four project areas at the CfNN has made great strides in advancing research. All of them, for example, are actively working with patients, highlighting the direct clinical value of the center’s work.”
Guest speakers for this ceremony included Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, Dr. Glenn Tung, Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Michael Mayo-Smith, MD, MPH, Director, VA New England Healthcare System; and Dr. Joel Kupersmith, Chief, Research and Development Office, Department of Veterans Affairs