For 10 years, researchers at VA have been using gene discovery to better understand the importance of genes in the health and lives of Veterans.

Today, the Million Veteran Program is one of the world’s largest genetics-based research programs with over 830,000 Veterans enrolled.

VA researchers study these Veterans’ genes to better predict disease, match treatments and help all Veterans understand the role their genes play in their health. This information may lead to better treatment and preventative measures for chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

VA celebrates National DNA Day

VA celebrates Dr. Rosaland Franklin, an English chemist who helped make genetic research possible. Her research led to the discovery of the double helix DNA molecule by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953 and completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, which is now celebrated as National DNA Day April 25th.

In 2011, VA announced the launch of the Million Veteran Program. The program is part of VA’s strategic plan to personalize medicine for all Veterans. The program supports research that will one day offer Veterans customized treatments and preventions based on their genes, health and lifestyle.

A leader in medical research

Since the mid-1900s, VA has been driving cutting-edge medical research. It invented the implantable pacemaker, discovered aspirin’s ability to reduce heart attacks and death, and completed the first-ever liver transplant.

Through the Million Veteran Program, VA is using a decade of genetics research to make a difference. VA is working to predict the risk of cancer and better understand mental illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Learn more about VA’s Million Veteran Program

Thank you to every Veteran who has already joined MVP. And to the MVP research teams shining light on the role genetics, lifestyle, and military experiences play in our health.

Learn more at or call 866-441-6075 to speak with a team member.

Dr. Shakeria Cohen is an AAAS fellow for the Million Veteran Program.

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Published on Apr. 25, 2021

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  1. Peter Krempely April 29, 2021 at 8:22 am

    All veterans who sign up for this program get FREE medical care!

  2. Dalindia Carventy April 26, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    Hi im an officer in the navy ive not been discharged since i took a job for the navy with dept of def and homeland security in 1967 to 1968. Im interested in youre genetic research in medicine. You see im a born hemophradite born al male outside with female parts in my insides and as a kid for the job i took for the navy ive been made intersex by the family i grew up in in 1969 to 1970 when they had doctors they knew sent me to have the surgery . im lucky i didnt lose my penis or testical. Im also know as Charly Habsburg in the military am also a commander in 4 more branches. I was a high tech qualified and classified. Am waiting for a personnel named Tina Jacobs born in 1967 to contact me once more to give me some answer shes retired and im stuck with a dillemma

  3. Sara Gellar April 25, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    I love DNA tests, i have done them all. My most recent one was one of Gene Plaza tests, where I found our that i am 23% Canaanite form Israel, it’s called the Bronze Age test. Keep em coming!

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