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Research

The Department of Neurological Surgery has research programs that includes both clinical and basic science investigations for cerebrovascular diseases (eg. Acute Stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Brain Aneurysms) and neurosurgical diseases/disorders (eg Brain tumors, spinal stenosis, hydrocephalus).   The clinical research trials being conducted by investigators from Neurological Surgery are listed here

The Cerebrovascular Basic Research Laboratories are headed by internationally renowned scientists, Dr. William Van Nostrand and Dr. B. Barry Lieber.

William Van Nostrand, PhD

The research in Dr. Van Nostrand’s NIH-funded laboratory is largely centered on the study of pathogenic mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related disorders. In the laboratory, his team takes a multi-faceted approach encompassing protein biochemistry, molecular biology, in vitro cell culture models, and in vivo models to understand pathologic processes. 

Major efforts include the study of:

  1. Accumulation of Aß in brain blood vessels, a condition known as cerebral amyloid angiopathy that is a common pathological feature of the elderly and is largely present in AD.
  2. Novel proteins in brain that can strongly inhibit the assembly and deposition of Aß. 
  3. The Aß protein precursor (AßPP) and its relationship to the severity of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke; and whether agents derived from this protein can be used for stroke therapy.

B. Barry Lieber, PhD

Dr. Lieber’s laboratory is primarily interested in translational research and development of endovascular devices for brain aneurysm treatment. To this end, they conduct in vitro flow studies in silicone replicas of patient-specific aneurysm geometries as well as numerical computational fluid dynamics simulations to evaluate device-induced flow changes within aneurysms. The laboratory includes a current generation angiography suite (Siemens Artis Zeego) where extensive in vitro and in vivo studies are performed. Other projects include mechanical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke and embolization of arteriovenous malformations. Simulation and experimental results are verified and validated against imaging and contrast flow transport studies in patients undergoing endovascular treatment at the Cerebrovascular Center.