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Cohen Veterans Bioscience, VA Partner on Brain Trauma Dx Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Nonprofit research organization Cohen Veterans Bioscience announced today that it has partnered with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to advance the diagnosis and treatment of trauma-related brain disorders.

According to Cohen, it will work with the VA to lead a public/private partnership — called Research Alliance for PTSD/TBI Innovation and Discovery Diagnostics, or RAPID-Dx — to foster collaboration and data integration between different institutes researching traumatic brain injury (TBI) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with the goal of accelerating the discovery and development of validated biomarkers and diagnostics for the conditions.

According to a Cohen spokesperson, RAPID-Dx initially aims to create a roadmap for the discovery, replication, and qualification of genetic, epigenetic, metabolomic, and proteomic biomarkers. It also plans to gather biomarker and imaging datasets into a centralized cloud-based platform, and develop and disseminate best practice approaches for biomarker discovery, replication, and validation.

Additional terms of the alliance were not disclosed.

"The fastest way to help Veterans living with TBI and PTSD is to break down the traditional siloes of science and scientific resources," Rachel Ramoni, the VA's chief research and development officer, said in a statement. "By joining RAPID-Dx, we are affirming our commitment to a new type of radically collaborative science defined by data sharing and coordination of efforts toward our shared goal of finding clinically useful diagnostics and treatments for these invisible wounds of war."

In early 2016, Cohen formed partnerships with the Broad Institute's Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research and McLean Hospital to advance research on the genetics and neuroscience of PTSD and TBI.