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Stroke is a major global health problem as the second cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability worldwide. Healthcare for stroke patients spans a continuum from acute treatment to hospitalization to rehabilitation and then to prevention. To address the full continuum of stroke care, The Stroke Institute at UTHealth is a joint collaboration among the School of Medicine, School of Public Health, School of Nursing, and School of Biomedical Informatics and leverages the strong clinical partnership of UTHealth with the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System and other health systems in Houston.
— Sean Savitz
The mission of the UTHealth Stroke Institute, home to over a hundred professionals working in cerebrovascular disease and the largest stroke fellowship training program in the country, is to advance and transform stroke prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation in the dual contexts of community population health and a learning health-care system. We are committed to high quality rigorous research across the continuum of stroke care, to developing new treatments and innovative health care delivery models for stroke, and promoting stroke awareness and education to the general public.
The stroke program at UTHealth was started by James Grotta in 1979 and was supported by the cerebrovascular disease related research interests of the first two Department of Neurology Chairmen (Bill Fields–management of extracranial carotid disease and Frank Yatsu –stroke risk factors). The program was initially shaped by important collaborations with faculty in stroke epidemiology, clinical trial design, and basic science, and the Houston Emergency Medical Services (EMS). It was the first Stroke Center established in Houston at the Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center hospital and was one of the first established in the world.
Publication of first clinical trials of Carotid Endarterectomy and of Aspirin for stroke prevention (Dr. Fields).
The stroke program was started by James Grotta upon his arrival in Houston.Founding Details
NIH and industry funded clinical stroke trials get under way.Clinical Stroke Trials Details
Formation of a separate in-patient clinical stroke service at Memorial Hermann HospitalStroke Program Details
Implemented the First Joint Commission Certified Integrated System of Comprehensive Stroke Centers
The stroke program was started by James Grotta upon his arrival in Houston.
All stroke patients at Memorial Hermann Hospital admitted to Neurology in-patient service.
Dr. Grotta also initiates AHA and NIH funded laboratory investigations of cerebral blood flow and metabolism.
The program admits the first stroke fellow (Dr. Creed Pettigrew). It eventually becomes the largest stroke fellowship program in the country.
The first NIH T32 funded stroke training program is started.
To learn more about our current fellowship programs, click here.
A lead site in numerous NIH and industry funded translational studies of “neuroprotective” agents taken from bench to bedside.
A lead site in the successful NINDS tPA Stroke Trial establishing the first effective treatment for acute stroke.
SPOTRIAS P50 NINDS program grant to conduct specialized translational research to develop novel acute stroke therapies including Argatroban and Ultrasound for acute ischemic stroke, Pioglitazone for intracerebral hemorrhage.
First translational regenerative medicine program in stroke conducting cell-based therapies in stroke (Dr. Savitz).
The largest Regional Coordinating Center spanning Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana in the NINDS Stroke Network (StrokeNet) (Dr. Savitz).
Launched the first Mobile Stroke Unit (MSU) in the US in a prospective study funded by AHA and PCORI (Dr. Grotta).
Read more about our current fellowship programs.
Formation of a separate in-patient clinical stroke service at Memorial Hermann Hospital.
Formation of “stroke team” concept; collaboration with Houston EMS with emphasis on early notification and treatment.
Formation of a dedicated Stroke Unit at Memorial Hermann Hospital; the first in Texas, and possibly in the U.S.
First telemedicine program in the region.
First in patient neuro-rehabilitation service in region.
First neuro ICU service in region.
Dr. Wu joined the Memorial Hermann stroke network and created a large network that treats over 500 stroke patients with t-PA
First Mobile Stroke Unit in U.S. (Dr. Grotta).
First Integrated Stroke System of Comprehensive Stroke Centers in the U.S. (Drs. Savitz, Day, Kim).
At UTHealth, we have several international leaders in stroke and cerebrovascular disease.
James Grotta, MD
Founder, Stroke Program
Director, Mobile Stroke ConsortiumFormer Chair, Department of Neurology
Louise McCullough, MD, PhD
Chair, Department of Neurology
Jaroslaw (Jarek) Aronowski, MD, PhD
Vice-Chair, Research Department of Neurology
Dong Kim, MD
Chair, Department of Neurosurgery
Arthur Day, MD
Vice-Chair, Department of Neurosurgery