About the Institute
Who we are and what we do
In 1988, Congress authorized the VA medical centers to establish nonprofit research corporations (NPCs) to serve as “flexible funding mechanisms for the conduct of approved research and education.” P.L. 100-322. Codified at U.S.C. SS7361-7368.
The Institute for Medical Research was founded in 1989 in response to this legislation to serve as an affiliate of the Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center. IMR’s mission is “To support research and education throughout the Durham Veterans Affairs Healthcare System to enhance the health and lives of veterans, their families, and the public at large.”
NPCs work with VA researchers and educators who are called Principal Investigators to operate non-VA funded studies. These projects can be funded by agencies such as the Department of Defense or the National Institutes of Health or by pharmaceutical or other private industry sponsors, donors or foundations.
These activities allow VA patients to access cutting edge treatments and health care information.
Today with over 100 employees and numerous contractors and consultants, IMR supports a diverse portfolio of research and educational initiatives. Current projects include both basic science and clinical research as well as educational projects. Specifically, IMR is involved with pharmacogenetic testing education, basic science research funded by NASA (conducted in space), research into the treatment and prevention of cancers including lymphoma, prostate and lung cancers. IMR researchers also work to address health care delivery issues, broaden our understanding of mental illness and improve the quality and availability of psychiatric interventions.