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War Related Illness and Injury Study Center

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Research at the Women's Operational Military Exposure Network Center of Excellence (WOMEN CoE)


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The WRIISC Research programs enhance and strengthen the clinical mission. The research program focuses on examining and implementing state-of-the art diagnosis, treatment, and management strategies to better treat and understand the sequelae of injury. WOMEN CoE has a unique role in this area in that we encompass the entire VA systems’ clinical services. Additionally, the partnership with Women’s Healthcare Research Network (WHRN), VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry (AHOBPR), Complex Exposure Threat Center (CETC), Polytrauma Systems of Care, VA Innovations Network, and Stanford has fostered extensive collaborations, all leading to translational impact and designating the programs as Centers of Excellence.

WOMEN CoE understands that women Veterans with a history of military environmental exposure(s) (MEE) can face multiple health challenges. For example, toxic exposures during military service may play a role in the occurrence of infertility in women Veterans. Therefore, our research team studies the prevalence and incidence of these problems related to MEE in women Veterans.  The team will advance the study of the effectiveness of treatments and rehabilitation to improve the health and wellbeing of women and gender diverse Veterans.  

Priority areas of study are the effects of military exposures on:  

  • Cancer (Breast, Uterine, Cervical & Ovarian) 
  • Infertility (PCOS, Miscarriages, Ectopic Pregnancy, etc.) 
  • Cardiovascular Diseases  
  • Autoimmune Diseases 
  • Pain/Headache/Migraine 
  • Mental Health (Depression, PTSD, etc.) 
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) 
  • Dementia/Cognitive Decline 
  • Eating Disorders 

Our first research study focuses on understanding the impact of military environmental exposure on reproductive health & cancer by studying inflammation of women Veterans who served. We will be recruiting nationally for this study. 

Ongoing Research Projects 

  • Exposure Biomarker Study
  • GWI rTMS study
  • GWI biomarker study
  • Societal role expectations
  • Social determinants of health in TBI mortality

Other Research Efforts

To learn about the impact of toxic exposures on reproductive health, click here.