Research in the Stroke Division spans the entire breadth of stroke care, from prevention to post-stroke management. As part of a large, interdepartmental team that manages over 1,000 stroke cases per year, the Vanderbilt Stroke Division is able to operate at the forefront of this rapidly evolving area of neurological research. Faculty members actively participate in many national clinical trials and create novel approaches to understanding the brain, thus bringing the latest advances in stroke medicine to patients.
The Stroke Division regularly receives funding from such institutions as the National Institutes of Health, PCORI Foundation, the pharmaceutical industry, grants and more.
Faculty members in the Stroke Division are leading research in the following areas:
Factor X1 inhibitor
Dr. Kirshner is the local Primary Investigator on the BMS study of a novel Factor X1 inhibitor in stroke. He is also involved in several other trials and is the head of the adjudication committee for the new C3FIT study (see below). He has participated in dozens of stroke research studies over the years, and is also an investigator on several other current studies.
C3FIT – Coordinated, Collaborative, Comprehensive, Family-focused, Integrated, Technology-Enabled to Improve Stroke Care
Dr. Kenneth Gaines
Jeri Lynn M. Braunlin DNP, ACNS, BC, NEA, BC, CNRN, RN - Project Manager for the C3FIT Study
Dr. Gaines is currently a National Principal Investigator for a C3FIT (Comprehensive, Coordinated, Collaborative, Family-focused, Integrated, Technology Enabled) Stroke Care Delivery Design Randomized Comparative Effectiveness Trial. Sponsored by a grant through the PCORI Foundation, this large study involves 18 comprehensive stroke centers.
Dr. Mittal’s primary research focus is on clinical trials for acute stroke. She is also interested in clinical trial methodology to ensure efficient translation of therapeutics into patient. She is currently leading a study focused on blood pressure management after mechanical thrombectomy as site investigator for BEST 2. She is also the site investigator for PCORI funded C3FIT study where she is actively involved in in-home post stroke care management of patients. In addition, she is the site PI for CHARM, an acute stroke study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Intravenous BIIB093 (Glibenclamide) for Severe Cerebral Edema Following Large Hemispheric Infarction. Her stroke team is one of the leading recruiters for this international trial.
Dr. Froehler maintains an active clinical and translational research program, and has served as PI of over 30 clinical studies (both industry- and grant-sponsored) at Vanderbilt. His particular areas of clinical research interest include acute ischemic stroke treatment, vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage, and endovascular aneurysm treatment. His translational research revolves around endovascular models of intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma, and endovascular thrombectomy device development.
Telemedicine and stroke care
With a background in public health, Dr. Commiskey has focused her research on improving stroke care across the continuum through innovative, technology-based, integrated systems of care, particularly during post-discharge recovery for patients, caregivers, and their families. She also focuses on identifying and reducing social determinants of health for stroke and neurological care, as well as patient, caregiver and family engagement. She is currently Principal Investigator (PI) for a USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant to explore the feasibility of implementing an ambulance-based telemedicine network between EMS and advanced stroke-trained personnel in the field, as well as an internally funded health communication grant to explore attitudes and perceived impact of telemedicine.
Vascular disease and cognitive impairment
Dr. Schrag’s research focuses on understanding how cerebral amyloid angiopathy contributes to cognitive impairment and the other neuropathologies of Alzheimer's disease.