The week of May 14th was National VA Research week. In celebration, the Salem Research Institute, Inc. (SRI) and the Salem VA Medical Center's Research Service hosted a study presentation luncheon at which many of the local investigators presented information on several of their current ongoing studies. Congressman Morgan Griffith of Virginia's 9th District, made a return visit to attend the event and continue the development of his ongoing relationship with SRI and the Salem VA Medical Center Research group. During his visit, Congressman Griffith listened to the presenters as they discussed their research and in doing so gained more understanding for the world of research and concerns of those who work in the research field.
During the luncheon guests enjoyed a meal catered by locally owned Mission BBQ and had the opportunity to view several study's statistical information and hypothesis as presented by their research teams. Studies presented ranged from research on vaccines, PTSD, health/wellness in older HIV patients, and the Million Veteran Program.
After the poster presentation, guests listened to this year's feature speaker, Dr. Ali Iranmanesh, as he spoke on the Salem Research Institute's history and future goals. It is easy to understand how Dr. Iranmanesh understand so much about about SRI and the Salem VA Research Department as this year he celebrates 40 years of service to the veterans, and a long and distinguished career at the Salem VA Medical Center.
Dr. Iranmanesh joined the Medical Center in 1978 as a Staff Endocrinologist in Ambulatory Care, and through the years has developed many programs that endure to the present. He became Associate Chief for Endocrine Section in 1982 and Chief in 1985. Also in 1985, he developed and became the Director of the Endocrine Laboratory and the Diabetic Education and Management Program. Later on, he developed and became Director of the Bone Densitometry Unit. In 2008 he became the Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development, and in 2014 the Director of Sponsored Research. Dr. Iranmanesh has over 150 Research Publications to his credit. Dr. Iranmanesh has led the way in developing the research program at Salem VAMC. In late 1980, congress passed legislation allowing establishment of the VA non-profit corporations for the purpose of facilitating research and education. Dr. Iranmanesh contributed effectively to the development of such research non-profit corporation at the Salem VA Medical Center. As the result Salem Research Institute (SRI) was founded in 1991 and became functionally operational in the management of all non-VA funded research at the Medical Center.
What started as several small research projects has grown to over 90 research studies currently in progress at the medical center. The Research and Development Department is now also in the process of developing a Wet Lab for basic science study which will increase the types of studies that can be done at the site. SRI currently has over 30 sponsored/PI-initiated studies, a Department of Defense sponsored grant and several other federal grants in progress. Through their growing affiliation with local medical schools and universities, SRI is increasing our footprint in the community. We have projects in progress with Virginia Tech (VT), University of Virginia (UVA), Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI), and Roanoke College. Our education department is also working with Lewis Gale Medical Center who just started a medical residency program to develop a mutual affiliation there. SRI is proud of all we have accomplished over the past 25+ years and we look forward to continuing to support the health and wellness of our Veterans and the community at large.