The goal of the NINDS Stroke Trials Network (STN) is to streamline and accelerate the translation of experimental stroke therapies to clinical application.
The aims of this proposal for an NINDS STN Regional Coordinating Center at the University of Pittsburgh (STN-UP) are: 1) To develop a dynamic, collaborative and sustainable research, clinical and administrative infrastructure to rapidly implement stroke clinical trials. 2 To foster participation of physicians, patients and patient support groups in STN-UP. 3) To promote career development of young clinician-investigators in the neurosciences. STN-UP will be led by the Program Director, Lawrence Wechsler, MD, co-Program Director Tudor Jovin, MD. Particular strengths of the University of Pittsburgh to participate as the proposed STN-UP in the NINDS STN are: 1) Consistent track record of high enrollment in NINDS and industry clinical trials. 2) Over 2000 yearly stroke admissions at three University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) core hospitals (UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Shadyside, and UPMC Mercy) 3) Large telestroke network including 18 hospitals in western Pennsylvania and Maryland with prior experience recruiting patients into stroke trials after telemedicine evaluation. 4) Extensive regional referral network with phone support to hospitals throughout the tri-state area. 5) Participation in NETT and NeuroNEXT networks, and institutional support for tier-1 federated IRB and master clinical trial agreements. In order to train the "next generation" of qualified stroke researchers, the STN-UP will: 1) Establish a dedicated clinician researcher-oriented fellowship. 2) Recruit trainees to the Advisory Committee on a rotating basis. 3) Provide clinical trials education and experience for residents, fellows and junior faculty.
Basic and translational research efforts devise diagnostic and treatment modalities for stroke, but inefficiency in clinical trials limits the validation of these therapies. STN-UP RCC will leverage the regional dominance of UPMC in healthcare, the CTSI and existing clinical research networks of NeuroNEXT and NETT at the University of Pittsburgh, and other institutional resources, to create a model site in the NINDS STN.