According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 29 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, have diabetes. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and has cost the United States upwards of $245 billion according to the American Diabetes Association. The Virginia Beach region is home to the world-renowned Strelitz Diabetes Center at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Led by star researcher Dr. Jerry Nadler, the Strelitz Center seeks to prevent the debilitating complications of neuropathy and cardiovascular disease through innovative methods for the treatment and diagnosis of diabetes.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. The Virginia Beach region has long been a leader in the field of cardiovascular research. In fact, Sentara’s Heart Hospital consistently ranks among the nation’s top 50 heart programs according to U.S. News & World Report and is responsible for more than 2,000 cardiac surgeries a year.


The Commonwealth of Virginia is increasingly becoming known as “the brain state,” as it is home to many universities with world-class neuroscience research programs. The University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, and the College of William & Mary all offer degrees in neuroscience. Virginia Tech is currently in the process of creating a school of neuroscience and hopes to collaborate with other universities to strengthen Virginia’s standing in the field. Treating brain disorders costs more than $1 trillion a year in the United States, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Virginia’s steady flow of graduates from these premier colleges make it a premier location for companies engaged in the fields of neuroscience research and development.

Brain Injury

Virginia Beach has a specialty focus on traumatic brain injury due to our high concentration of active-duty military members and veterans. More than 12,000 active-duty personnel exit the military in the Virginia Beach region each year, and approximately 6% of the regional adult population are veterans.