Leading the charge to defeat psychological health problems affecting our war fighters

The STRONG STAR Consortium is a state and federally funded, multi-institutional research group working to develop and evaluate the most effective early interventions possible for the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological health conditions in military personnel, veterans, and first responders. Under the leadership of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) and based in South/Central Texas, STRONG STAR brings together the expertise of a world-class team of military, civilian and VA institutions and investigators and one of the largest populations of post-9/11 military service members and veterans in the nation. With the critical mass of talent required to make major scientific advances in psychological health, STRONG STAR investigators are working to improve countless lives by preventing the development of chronic psychological health problems in military personnel, veterans, first responders, and their families.

Key Facts

  • STRONG STAR is an acronym for the South Texas Research Organizational Network Guiding Studies on Trauma And Resilience.
  • The original STRONG STAR Multidisciplinary PTSD Research Consortium was established in 2008 with leadership by The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) and funding from the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct 14 specified studies focused on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a signature wound of post-9/11 military conflicts.
  • In 2013, in response to a National Research Action Plan called for by President Obama, the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs jointly funded and established the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD (CAP) under the leadership of UT Health San Antonio and the VA’s National Center for PTSD. The CAP built on STRONG STAR’s success and capitalized on its established research infrastructure to launch another dozen studies on PTSD and related conditions, with a particular focus on the detection of biomarkers to aid in prevention, diagnosis, and successful treatment.
  • Through the years since its original funding, the STRONG STAR Consortium has continuously added to its research repertoire and today has ongoing or completed approximately 80 affiliated projects, each with separate funding from a variety of federal, state, and private sources.
  • As STRONG STAR’s research portfolio has continued to expand, so has its research focus, which now extends beyond PTSD to include various other psychological health problems and comorbid conditions such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), sleep disturbance, chronic pain, suicide, substance use disorders, tinnitus, and other conditions. Its focus also has grown beyond military and veterans to include civilian first responders.
  • This unprecedented research network forms the world’s largest research group focused on psychological health conditions in active duty U.S. military personnel, veterans, and first responders, with more than 150 collaborating investigators from over 50 military, VA, and civilian institutions.
  • The consortia’s nearly 100 ongoing or completed projects include military-relevant randomized clinical trials evaluating psychological and behavioral health treatments as well as a variety of epidemiological, biological, preclinical, prevention, observation, and training studies and initiatives.
  • STRONG STAR is the largest psychological health research group working in military settings to have successfully conducted multiple, large-scale randomized clinical trials with active duty military populations.
  • Treatment studies take the leading and most promising new psychological and behavioral health treatments, tailor them to the unique needs of active military and combat veterans, and evaluate them for efficacy with these populations, as well as for their feasibility in military and VA settings.
  • Based on a vast array of military-relevant studies, findings from STRONG STAR research are informing and influencing national policy on the care and treatment of psychologically wounded war fighters.
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