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StrokeNet News Lead Story Image 400 300 pxIn an effort to fill a gap in stroke care in the Deep South, UAB joined the National Institutes of Health StrokeNet under a $1 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

NIH StrokeNet comprises a network of 25 regional centers throughout the United States. It involves more than 200 hospitals and serves as a robust infrastructure and pipeline for promising, innovative treatments for patients who have suffered a stroke or are at risk of experiencing one.

Partnering with UAB in StrokeNet are the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, the University of South Alabama and the Lakeshore Foundation.

Serving as primary investigator on the project is Mark Harrigan, M.D., professor in the UAB Department of Neurosurgery, along with Toby Gropen, M.D., James H. Halsey Jr., M.D., Endowed Professor and director of the Division of Cerebrovascular Disease in the UAB Department of Neurology, and Ronald Lazar, Ph.D., Evelyn F. McKnight Endowed Chair in the Department of Neurology and director of the UAB Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute.

The UAB-led project prioritizes the recruitment of African-Americans for participation in clinical stroke research. Each year, approximately 800,000 individuals suffer from strokes, with African-Americans being disproportionately affected compared to other racial groups in the United States. Minority populations, in general, have heightened susceptibility to strokes, experiencing them at an earlier age and with more severe consequences.

Regarding UAB’s participation in StrokeNet, Harrigan said, “Given our location, UAB’s participation in StrokeNet will give greater access to research opportunities to underserved patients across the stroke belt. Along with our regional partners, we will be able to better tie into stroke research across the nation, giving our ideas a national stage while simultaneously benefiting from the experiences of institutions in other regions of the country.”