Stroke is the number one cause of preventable disability in adults in the United States. Significant advances have occurred in medications and technology supporting rapid stroke diagnosis and treatment during the past 30 years, along with blurring of the lines of what traditionally constituted nursing or medical research. Ischemic stroke is a disease of vascular insufficiency that mirrors myocardial infarction more than any other neurologic diagnosis. My primary program of research is focused on exploration of methods to improve intracranial blood flow in patients with hyperacute ischemic stroke who have viable, yet vulnerable, brain tissue to prevent worsening or enable improvement of stroke symptoms. I am also examining augmentation of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator treatment and stimulation of both arteriogenesis and angiogenesis with external counter-pulsation in patients with intracranial atherosclerosis. My secondary program of research focuses on methods to improve stroke systems of care, including improvement of advance practice providers’ contributions to acute stroke care, use of innovative mobile stroke units, and improvement of quality core measure processes. Lessons learned along the way are highlighted, along with the value of interdisciplinary “team science” to build knowledge and enhance the care of highly vulnerable patients with acute stroke.

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