The aim of the Laboratory of Cerebral Ischaemia is to identify novel neuroprotective strategies that may be used for the treatment or prevention of an acute stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death and leading cause of disability in developed countries. In the UK, 150,000 strokes occur every year with 67,000 resulting in death. The only effective therapies that are currently approved for the acute treatment of ischaemic stroke patients are aspirin and recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA, alteplase, Actilyse®). Unfortunately, rtPA can only be administered within 3 hours of ischaemia onset due to risk of haemorrhage. There have been numerous neuroprotective compounds that have been developed in vivo that target the complex biochemical pathways that lead to cell death in the brain following a stroke. However, these compounds are not efficacious when treating acute stroke patients in the clinic. With many stroke patients being admitted to hospital each year, producing a novel neuroprotective compound that is effective in the clinic is a high priority. We have a team of researchers that are experienced in stroke research, working on a number of collaborative projects, and are all working towards the same goal, producing adequate neuroprotection for acute stroke patients.
The Laboratory of Cerebral Ischaemia forms part of the Acute Stroke Programme, where we work alongside clinical colleagues who help treat stroke patients every day. This close relationship allows a translational approach to our research whereby our research can directly impact on daily clinical practice of acute stroke treatment, "from bench to bedside". We conduct preclinical studies on putative neuroprotectants in models of stroke, while running human studies to identify potential targets for treatment strategies and markers for monitoring patients.
To identify and produce neuroprotective efficacy following a stroke, a multimodal approach is required. Our research involves aspects of physiology, pharmacology, in vivo imaging, surgery and clinical medicine. A multi-faceted approach will improve the prospect of discovering a putative neuroprotective strategy.
Main Research Objectives
• Identification of new neuroprotective targets for cerebral ischaemia
• Development of new neuroprotective agents for the treatment of acute stroke
• Discovery and validation of new molecular biomarkers for cerebral ischaemia
• Translation of laboratory results into clinical practice
Where are we?
The Laboratory of Cerebral Ischaemia is based on Level 7 of the John Radcliffe Hospital, and forms part of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, which is within the Medical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford.