News Release
December 13, 2013

Penn Medicine Named as Inaugural Member of NIH Network to Revolutionize Stroke Clinical Research

Stroke remains number one cause of disability and fourth leading cause of death in the United States

PHILADELPHIA — The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania will join a new national network of 25 regional stroke centers selected to advance stroke research on prevention, treatment and recovery. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the US, and the new program, initiated by the National Institutes of Health, aims to allow the most promising therapies to quickly advance to the clinic, to improve prevention, acute treatment, or rehabilitation of the stroke patient. The Centers were announced Thursday by the National Institutes of Health.

“Penn Medicine’s interdisciplinary Stroke Center is poised to offer the newest possible treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation options in the greater Philadelphia region and Delaware Valley,” said Scott Kasner, MD, professor of Neurology and director of Penn’s Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Successful applicants demonstrated experience in stroke research and recruitment, including the ability to enroll underrepresented populations, and were required to offer access to the full cadre of specialties that are involved in stroke care. These include:  emergency medicine, neurosurgery, interventional neuroradiology, vascular neurology, neurointensive care, neuroimaging, stroke rehabilitation and pediatric neurology. The 25 centers are strategically placed in every region of the country.

NIH StrokeNet investigators, working with the broader stroke community, will propose, develop and conduct stroke protocols to be administered within the network and train the future generation of clinical researchers in stroke.

“The new system is intended to streamline stroke research, by centralizing approval and review, lessening time and costs of clinical trials, and assembling a comprehensive data sharing system,” said Petra Kaufmann, M.D., the associate director for clinical research at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Each center will receive five-year funding, with $200,000 in research costs and $50,000 for training stroke clinical researchers per year over the first three years, and additional funds driven by the completion of milestones. The University of Cincinnati will manage the national clinical coordinating center, which will oversee and coordinate the institutional review board and master trial agreements for all of the regional centers. NIH will announce the award of a national data management center in February.

“NIH StrokeNet will allow the most promising therapies to quickly advance to the clinic, to improve prevention, acute treatment, or rehabilitation of the stroke patient,” said Walter J. Koroshetz, M.D., NINDS deputy director. “We need to have a balance of approaches to decrease the burden of illness due to stroke.”

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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.

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