One year after officially joining the Washington, DC, office of the department of Veteran Affairs (VA), Nelda Wray left her position as chief research and development officer and returned to Houston “due to a pressing family health concern,” according to a December 4 memo sent from VA Undersecretary for Health Robert Roswell to senior staff members. VA Deputy Undersecretary for Health Jonathan B Perlin will serve as the acting chief officer of research and development, “effective immediately and until further notice.”

Since her appointment last December, Wray has been at the center of a controversy surrounding VA research priorities and funding decisions. In April, she cancelled funding for 17 research projects across the country, claiming that the VA budget had not received final congressional approval when the grants were first promised over the phone. Throughout the year, she was vocal about her intentions to modify the peer review process for...

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