With continuing partnerships and those that are being newly forged at each of our campuses, VCOM is uniquely aligned to solve major problems facing the health of our communities. Here are some notable examples.
Reducing Sports Injuries
VCOM collaborative research has been instrumental in creating change that will reduce the risk of head injuries for current and future players--from the improvement of helmet design to findings that changed rules for youth and collegiate football.
Our research partnership with Virginia Tech Athletics and the Center for Injury Biomechanics became the first to place a unique accelerometer array into collegiate football players’ helmets to study head impact biomechanics and the clinical syndrome of mild traumatic brain injury in collegiate football. The data from this unique, innovative pilot project from 2003 has led to several current and former federally-funded and industry-sponsored research projects.
Through our collaborative concussion research program, one of the best in the country, we are participating in the NCAA-DOD Grand Alliance: Concussion Assessment, Research, and Education (CARE) Consortium as an Advanced Research Core School. The CARE Consortium is a multi-site program to improve the evaluation, treatment, and prevention of injuries related to sports-related concussion and mild traumatic brain injury.
Another outgrowth of this line of research is our current collaboration with Wake Forest and Brown to study the biomechanical basis of pediatric mild traumatic brain injury due to sports-related concussion. The pilot data that led to this 3-year project has already resulted in significant changes to Pop Warner football rules which have enhanced the safety of youth football.
Designed to be a collaborative research venture between VCOM and the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM), the Center promotes joint VCOM-VMRCVM research programs for issues relevant for both humans and animals. A major feature of the Center is the central involvement of VCOM and VMRCVM students in collaborative disease prevention, public health, and global health research projects.
The Center includes VCOM’s Virginia, Carolinas, and Auburn campuses; the Veterinary College in Virginia; and joint research projects at the VCOM international mission sites.
Infectious disease research projects currently include a wide variety of protocols--from basic studies of disease mechanisms, transmission, and detection in humans and animals, to translational projects designed to develop and test novel vaccines, treatments, and therapies to treat these diseases.
Research teams are also investigating a wide range of public health and educational research projects related to environmental factors for humans and animals in a variety of settings.