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Research at NCIRE

NCIRE-The Veterans Health Research Institute is the leading private nonprofit institute devoted to Veterans health research in the United States. Our mission is to advance Veterans health through research.

We support the work of some of the nation's foremost physicians and scientists at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the premier biomedical research facility in the VA system. All have faculty appointments at the University of California, San Francisco, which has its own proud traditions of research and patient care. We also partner with the U.S. Department of Defense to support health research on behalf of our men and women in the Armed Forces.

Those who have served in uniform have given their best for their country. In return, we believe that they deserve nothing less than the best health care research we can provide.

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Karen Parko, MD

National Director, VA Epilepsy Centers of Excellence
Professor of Neurology, UCSF

Clinical epilepsy and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures

Dr. Karen L. Parko is a Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the National Director of the Veterans Affairs Epilepsy Centers of Excellence. She is a retired Commissioned Officer from the United States Public Health Service (USPHS).   Dr. Parko’s career focus has been on improving epilepsy care in disadvantaged populations.  She is nationally recognized for her leadership in health care and health policy.  


In 2010 she became the National Director of the VA Epilepsy Centers of Excellence, whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of Veterans with epilepsy through the integration of clinical care, outreach, research, and education.  She has a particular interest in psychogenic non-epileptic spells and her current research activities are aimed at better understanding  this syndrome and its treatment.

To see Dr. Parko on PubMed, click here.