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Goals, Mission, Purpose

Stroke is a devastating disease with limited treatment options. The major limitation of new therapeutic and diagnostic development is a lack of understanding of the pathophysiology of each type of stroke in human patients. In order to facilitate direct translational research on stroke, a biobank of tissue samples and data from patients with acute cerebrovascular diseases (i.e., the UTHealth Stroke Program Repository) was established in accordance with federal regulations and institutional policies, and in collaboration with the UTHealth Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS) Biobank. This biorepository is focused on obtaining tissue samples and associated data from patients with acute cerebrovascular diseases. The repository will allow investigators at UTHealth and collaborators outside UTHealth to conduct translational research on de-identified samples and data obtained from patients with cerebrovascular diseases. The repository is necessary to determine biomarkers and genomic profiles in order to identify new diagnostics, treatment targets, and predictors of disease.

Specific Aims/Objectives:

The objective of this project is the development of a stroke research repository to facilitate research to:

  1. Describe blood genomic profiles of patients with ischemic stroke and brain hemorrhage compared to age-, sex-, and race-matched control patients.
  2. Determine biomarkers of the evolution of injury and recovery/repair after ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, arterio-venous malformation (AVM), and transient ischemic attack (TIA).
  3. Determine the blood cell and platelet profiles in the blood of patients with ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  4. As spleen size is a marker of inflammation, determine using non-invasive abdominal ultrasound how spleen size correlates with blood-borne makers of injury and outcomes in patients with acute cerebrovascular diseases.
  5. Demonstrate that patients with TIAs have specific patterns of gene expression in their blood that is different from patients with ischemic stroke and different from controls.
  6. Determine the inflammatory and other injury pathologies in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and thrombus (i.e., clot) specimens collected/retrieved during surgical placement of external ventricular drains (EVD) or thrombectomies in large vessel occlusion acute ischemic stroke.
  7. Permit ongoing storage in the UTHealth Stroke Program Repository and/or UTHealth CCTS Biobank of de-identified tissue samples and/or their derivatives (e.g., DNA, RNA) and associated data that remain at the conclusion of any specific research study within which they were obtained for the purposes of future research use and collaborative sharing.

Current Activities

We are currently actively collecting samples for both stroke and control population.

We are collecting samples at the time of admission, Day 1, Day 2, Day 7 and Day 30-120. We are also planning to conduct Spleen Ultrasound, and collect craniotomy and CSF samples in patients where it is feasible.


The study is actively enrolling patients that have experienced signs of an ischemic stroke for last 1 month. We also collect patients biographic data on paper CRFs and then transfer onto a computerized database.

We have also renovated our facilities to support this biocore.

Services offered

We offer samples from patients and controls to our collaborators. The samples we offer are:

  1. Paxgene tube for RNA
  2. Serum
  3. Plasma from EDTA tubes
  4. Plasma from Citrate tubes
  5. PBMCs
  6. Buffy coat from EDTA tubes
  7. Buffy coat from Citrate tubes
  8. CSF samples based on availability