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Megan Shepherd-Banigan, PhD

Megan Shepherd Banigan PhD

Dr. Megan Shepherd-Banigan is a Health Research Scientist at the Durham VA. She is also an Assistant Professor in Duke University’s Department of Population Health Science and School of Medicine. She received her PhD in Health Services Research from the University of Washington.  She focuses on mental health, aging, and health services research methods that improve the health, emotional well-being, and social functioning of adults with mental and physical disabilities. Her research has focused on how to integrate family caregiver and family-centered innovations in to health care. Dr. Shepherd Banigan’s methods combine empirical approaches that address methodologically challenging research questions in health systems and policy research. Dr. Shepherd-Banigan won a VA Career Development Award from 2019-2024 that will determine ways to strengthen family support for veterans under-going traumatic stress treatment. She is a co-investigator in the Durham VA-CARES Evaluation Center where she leads a project that surveys family caregivers of Vietnam-era veterans who might be eligible for expanded support services under the VA Mission Act. As co-investigator on an NIA-funded CARE IDEAS study, she is investigating outcomes among care partners and persons with dementia (Terri Wetle, PI) where she will examine patient/caregiver communication and drivers of long-term care preferences. Finally, Dr. Shepherd-Banigan is leading a Rosalynn Carter Institute project that explores the effects of a caregiver training program on child anxiety.


I choose to work at the VA because I have the opportunity to work with a rich, longitudinal health data and to collaborate closely with clinical partners to ensure that my research questions are relevant for Veterans and their families and that the results are rapidly translated into practice.


  • PhD, University of Washington, 2014


  • Trauma and well-being (i.e. social, emotional, vocational, etc.)
  • Family-involved health interventions
  • Rigorous evaluation of clinical programs and policies

Megan Shepherd-Banigan on Twitter

Megan Shepherd-Banigan on PubMed

Megan Shepherd-Banigan Scholars at Duke