ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Million Veteran Program to Help Millions by Studying How Genes Affect Health

Updated on December 28, 2012

Copyright 2012 - Kris Heeter, Ph.D.

Million Veteran Program (MVP) was launched in 2011 as a one of a kind initiative to build the largest medical and genetic database to date. It promises to help researchers and medical professionals better understand how genetic changes affect health.

This program is being conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research & Development. The goal of MVP is to anonymously collect and store the medical histories and blood samples from 1 million U.S. veterans on a volunteer basis to help advance research on diseases like diabetes and cancer, and military-related illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The MVP database and the related discoveries hold the promise for advancement in personalized medicine and it is expected to lead to more effective treatments, reduce medical costs, and create more programs that emphasize disease prevention.

"MVP is a truly historic effort, in terms of both VA research and medical research in general. Veterans nationwide are helping to create a database that has the potential to help millions around the country – Veteran and non-Veteran alike. They are continuing to serve the nation well beyond the time they stopped wearing the uniform.”

- Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.

A comprehensive medical database

The MVP seeks to create the most comprehensive medical databases in the world.

A collection of standard clinical laboratory tests and genetic tests of volunteer veterans allows the VA to track and assess patterns of depression, PTSD, suicide and suicide screenings, alcohol and substance abuse, traumatic brain injury, diabetes, cancer rates, and more. The program pairs this medical information with the genetic information gathered from blood samples from U.S. veterans.

With this massive database, researchers will better understand why some people are more responsive to certain drugs and treatments. The long-term goal is to use this information to advance the field of personalized medicine for both veterans and non-veterans alike. The future of medical care will be based on people’s individual genetic profiles.

Veteran information on volunteering

Data collected through the Million Veteran Program is stored anonymously. To date, more than 110,000 veterans have volunteered for this program.

There are numerous VA centers throughout the U.S. where veterans can volunteer:

  • Albany, New York
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Bay Pines, Florida
  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Columbia, South Carolina
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Durham, North Carolina
  • Gainesville, Florida
  • Houston, Texas
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Leavenworth, Kansas
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Long Beach, California
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Manhattan, New York
  • Miami, Florida
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Palo Alto, California
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Salisbury, North Carolina
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • San Diego, California
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Temple, Texas
  • Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Washington, District of Columbia
  • West Haven, Connecticut

Information on how to enroll in the program in these cities can be found through the VA on the their Million Veteran Program website.

Future directions

The MVP continues to enroll volunteers at VA clinics in the cities mentioned above and the database continues to grow and be studied.

The Million Veteran Project and similar genetic database programs like the 1000 Genomes Project open the door for scientists to identify new genetic variants that underlie common diseases. These projects are helping researchers better understand both the genetics of disease and the gene-environment (lifestyle) interactions that lead to disease.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 5 years ago from India

      Good Hub, i like it. Thanks for the above good read.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      @caroll777 - I'm glad you were able to learn something here! Hope you have a wonderful New Year:)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      What a wonderful program to learn about disease and conditions..I have never heard of this.. Of course I learn a lot on hubpages.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      @eHealer - thanks for posting the links!

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Hey Kris, this is a fascinating hub and great info! I had no idea this existed and will research this program further for my own information. Great hub, thanks! You are pinned and facebooked!!!

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      @Bopi-Cheppu - I wonder if that extension is in the works. I agree that it would be helpful. I'll post updates as I find them.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      @fpherj48 - thanks for adding to the discussion and I'm glad to know that you've heard of the program and that the word is spreading!

    • Bopi-Cheppu profile image

      Bopi-Cheppu 5 years ago from San Antonio, TX, U.S.A

      Kris Heeter, This is a very interesting hub for me. I think this program has to be extended for active military personals also. For instance, if soldiers are wounded in the battlefield they can receive immediate and effective treatments instantly based on their genetic make up. I am not sure, already such program exist.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Kris...I am familiar with MVP, as it is one of the Veteran-related charities I make contributions to, usually bi-annually. And YES, I'm extremely cautious as to the organizations/Agencies I send donations to. I'm well-aware of the the existing scam artists, currently under scrutiny and investigation....Hope they nail those creeps for using our military as a front for their crimes!!

      You have given complete and thoroughly accurate & useful info, Kris. It is a very vital and worthy cause. Thank you for sharing this with your readers!...UP+++ and sharing.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      @billybuc - I hope that this program will eventually lead to some much needed answers and insights to PSTD and other health problems our veterans are facing. I have a friend who lost her 25 year old son to a very aggressive form cancer within two years after he returned from the Middle East and there were speculations that it was caused or triggered by something he was exposed to there.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very interesting, Kris! I've never heard of it but I like it!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)