Research is Intricately Involved in Every Facet of Neurosurgical Care
As the foundation of neurosurgical education, clinical patient care, and innovative advancement, research is intricately involved in every facet of neurosurgical care at the University of Kentucky. Whether through clinical evaluation of new imaging modalities and device development in endovascular neurosurgery, research in spine outcomes and deformity correction, translational and clinical research in tumor biology, further investigations of underlying pathogenesis in Parkinson's Disease, or development of innovative applications in functional neurosurgery, research is uniquely tailored to improve patient outcomes and advanced the field. A unique bench-to-bedside and bedside-to-bench approach with basic and translational scientists involved in the operating rooms and endovascular suites has laid the groundwork for transformational research.
Numerous clinical research foci exist in every subspecialty of neurosurgical care, funded by the NIH, industry, and other grant mechanisms. Current studies include investigating imaging modalities in ischemic stroke treatment, device development in endovascular stroke care, partnership in multicenter studies evaluating new aneurysm treatment modalities, neuroprotective therapies in traumatic brain injury, clinical outcomes in degenerative spine and spinal deformity correction, pediatric neurosurgery diseases, functional and epilepsy, and glioblastomas/brain tumor.
Other ongoing investigations include a first-of-its-kind clinical study on “DBS+,” a novel approach to Parkinson’s treatment that involves transplanting peripheral nerve tissue into the brain during deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. Interdepartmental collaborations are plentiful with the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute actively assisting in fostering collaboration between neurosurgery, neurology, radiology, and numerous departments within the college of medicine and university campus. Extensive resources are also available to execute these research studies, including pilot grants/awards, a neuroscience biostatistician, a large tissue bank, and a team of research coordinators. These resources exist for one common goal, to improve the care of neurosurgical patients with innovative solutions.
Given the University of Kentucky's dedication to fostering collaboration between clinicians and scientists, we have been blessed with strong partners in both basic and translational science. The Center for Advanced Translational Stroke Science (CATSS) is a unique collaboration between PhD basic and translational scientists with stroke interventionalists in which intracranial blood, arterial blood, and thrombi are collected during stroke thrombectomy. A novel bedside-to-bench strategy is then employed assessing proteomic, inflammatory, and genetic influences on short and long-term outcomes in acute ischemic stroke. This collaboration also makes possible transformational bench-to-bedside studies as well.