An unprecedented Veterans Affairs (VA) research program that promises to advance the sophisticated science of genomics goes national today.
The Million Veteran Program is a trailblazing VA effort to consolidate genetic, military exposure, health, and lifestyle information together in one single database. The database will be used only by authorized researchers with VA, other federal health agencies, and academic institutions within the U.S.—in a secure manner—to conduct health and wellness studies to determine which genetic variations are associated with particular health issues. By identifying gene-health connections, the program could consequentially advance disease screening, diagnosis, and prognosis and point the way toward more effective, personalized therapies.
Launched in January at a single VA medical center, MVP is expanding to achieve the goal of national participation by Veterans receiving VA care over the next 5 to 7 years. Among those participating are VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould, and Chief of Staff John R. Gingrich.