UC s StrokeNet Will Continue to Oversee All Stroke Trials for NIH

CINCINNATI—University of Cincinnati (UC) has been renewed as the national coordinating center for all clinical stroke trials within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) StrokeNet, funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). NIH StrokeNet conducts clinical trials and research studies to advance acute stroke treatment, stroke prevention and recovery and rehabilitation following a stroke. 

StrokeNet, which encompasses 29 regional stroke centers or hubs and nearly 400 associated participating hospitals, serves as the infrastructure and pipeline for new potential treatments for patients with stroke and those at risk for stroke. 

"The launch of StrokeNet in 2014 was a significant milestone in accelerating clinical research of stroke. A national network brought together leadership and researchers across the country to work more efficiently and avoid duplication of efforts with one centralized infrastructure. We are thrilled to be able to continue this work for NINDS,” says Joseph Broderick, MD, professor and director of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute and one of two principal investigators of the National Coordinating Center for NIH StrokeNet.

The announcement was made Aug. 1 by officials at NINDS, one of the more than two dozen research institutes and centers that make up the NIH. Additionally, NINDS announced that UC will also be renewed as one of 29 regional stroke centers within the NIH Stroke Trials Network. The regional coordinating center includes hospitals within the Greater Cincinnati region and University of Louisville hospitals.

"StrokeNet was created to include innovative strategies designed to help advance our stroke research by providing infrastructure and resources to streamline studies of stroke prevention, treatment and recovery,” says Scott Janis, PhD, program director at NINDS. "Studies already coming out of StrokeNet are leading to significant advancements in our understanding and treatment of stroke.”

The renewals of the national and regional centers extends funding of the stroke network infrastructure through 2023. As the National Coordinating Center, UC will receive $2.48 million in the first year, with anticipated total funding of $12 million over five years. 

"We have made great strides with stroke research in just the first five years of StrokeNet,” says Broderick, who has served as principal investigator on many federally funded clinical investigations related to stroke during his more than 30 years on the UC faculty. "Particularly, the practice-changing results of the DEFUSE 3 trial are wonderful examples of the power and teamwork of this national network,” says Broderick. DEFUSE 3, a large multicenter trial that looked at expanding the treatment window for certain kinds of stroke, had very significant results published in January 2018

Pooja Khatri, MD, professor in the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, will serve as the other principal investigator of the National Coordinating Center and will continue to serve as principal investigator for the Regional Coordinating Center at UC. 

"We look forward to continuing to advance stroke care within this network, as we facilitate nearly all federally funded stroke trials in the U.S. and collaborate with stroke networks worldwide,” says Khatri. "It’s exciting and gratifying to work on the cutting edge.”

A stroke occurs when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain (ischemic stroke) or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts (hemorrhagic stroke). Stroke is the No. 5 leading cause of death nationally and No. 2 worldwide. According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke kills more than 137,000 people a year in the United States. 

UC was also recently renewed as part of another NINDS national network: NeuroNEXT. Focused on clinical trials of neurologic disorders, NeuroNEXT is overseen by site co-principal investigators Daniel Woo, MD, professor of neurology, and Tracy Glauser, MD, a professor of pediatrics at UC, for the center at UC and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Pooja Khatri, MD, professor of neurology at UC College of Medicine and director of acute stroke care for UC Health.

Pooja Khatri, MD, professor of neurology at UC College of Medicine and director of acute stroke care for UC Health.


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