Finding the best ways to prevent and treat psychological health problems in military service members, veterans, and first responders

Administrative Core


Consortium Director
Alan L. Peterson, PhD, ABPP (Lt Col, US Air Force, Ret.)
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Deputy Consortium Director
John Roache, PhD
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Consortium Coordinator
Stacey Young-McCaughan, RN, PhD (COL, US Army, Ret.)
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Consortium Co-Director
David Riggs, PhD
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

STRONG STAR’s Administrative Core bears the primarily responsibility for the organization, administration, and management of the Consortium and its numerous research projects, which are being conducted by a multidisciplinary team of investigators from more than 20 institutions at upwards of 10 research sites. Those sites include Brooke Army Medical Center, Wilford Hall Medical Center, South Texas Veterans Health Care System, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, University Health System, and the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research in San Antonio; Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, Texas; the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System in Waco and Temple; and designated military sites in Afghanistan. With 16 research studies spread out at these diverse locations, the STRONG STAR Consortium relies on a vast group of research therapists, evaluators, project directors, and assistants in the conduct of the research and collection of data, all of which is carefully coordinated through the Administrative Core.

The Administrative Core is led by the Consortium Director (Alan Peterson), the Deputy Consortium Director (John Roache), and the Consortium Coordinator (Stacey Young-McCaughan) supported by the Consortium Co-Director (David Riggs), the Research Operations Manager (Gary Burk), the Consortium Regulatory Coordinators (Deanne Hargita and Rebecca Hammack), and the Consortium Communications Director (Julie Collins).

The STRONG STAR Consortium Director, Lt Col Alan L. Peterson, PhD, (U.S. Air Force, Retired) has extensive leadership and research experience in both military and civilian settings. Dr. Peterson is a clinical psychologist and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He also serves as the Chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine and the Vice Chair for Military Collaboration. He has extensive experience in conducting behavioral health research with military populations including military deployment stress and evidence-based interventions for combat stress disorders. He is a military veteran with deployment experience in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He retired from active duty service in the US Air Force in 2006. He has been a principal investigator or co-investigator on over 10 federal research grants with a combined cumulative budget of over $50,000,000.

COL Stacey Young- McCaughan, RN, PhD, recently retired from the Army and joined the The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio faculty to pursue her interest in research with veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). She has experience in managing and directing large U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) research programs, having served previously as the Deputy Director of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. In her last position on active duty at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), she was the Chief of Clinical Investigation and Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), which also serves as the IRB charged with reviewing all protocols for research to be conducted in Iraq. She has experience in guiding the animal-use regulatory process, guiding clinical protocols through the regulatory approval processes, providing oversight to studies across multiple sites, and as a funded DoD investigator. As such, she is one of the most knowledgeable individuals on military deployment-related research.