medical image of the brain

About us


Our research groups focus on translational and clinical research into the causes and treatment of stroke. The theme’s Principal Investigators are internationally recognised researchers and hold substantial government, charitable and commercial funding as well as having senior leadership roles in national and international professional socitiesWe are co-located between the BHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre, The Davidson Building, the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow and the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. This set-up provides access to state-of-the-art imaging facilities housed in the Imaging Centre for Excellence at the QEUH and we assess patients from the whole West of Scotland area.

We have a strong track record of delivering large and high-quality clinical studies. Our Principal Investigators have played key roles in shaping the modern approach to stroke treatment such as establishing the evidence base for stroke unit care, thrombolytic therapy and stroke prevention. We have expertise in both acute, prevention and rehabilitation trials. We are internationally recognised for our work on stroke assessment (e.g. the Central Adjudication of Modified Rankin Scale scores platform); our novel use of data (e.g. developing the Virtual International Stroke Trials Archive resource); and our expertise in evidence synthesis (e.g. co-ordination of Cochrane Stroke and Cochrane Dementia). We have also started work in the fields of rehabilitation technology and vascular cognitive impairment, and are growing new research groups in these areas.

Our preclinical research uses animal experimental models exhibiting ischemic or haemorrhagic stroke associated co-morbidities or genetically modified strains (and controls) and a transient model of occlusion with recanalisation. Research is focused around identification of novel mechanisms that contribute to deficits in cerebrovascular function and resultant impaired brain perfusion following stroke (e.g. ADMA-DDAH pathway; brain resident macrophages). Also, this research focuses on identifying treatments that target key central pathways and processes through polytherapy approaches (e.g. microRNAs) and to identify strategies to modify post-stroke systemic complications, including weight loss and muscle wasting, which are prime determinants of stroke outcome. We also have programmes investigating the molecular basis of cerebral small vessel disease and intracerebral haemorrhaging using both human genetics as well as animal and tissue culture models. A particular focus here is the role of the extracellular matrix and collagen, which we have identified causes rare genetic forms of stroke and small vessel disease, and is a risk factor for stroke in the general population. The long term aim of our mechanistic work is to develop and deliver novel therapeutic targets and/or strategies.

Furthermore, our research has become increasingly focussed on the role of cerebral small vessels in the disease processes affecting the brain after stroke, as well as the causes and consequences of small vessel disease and stroke on vascular cognitive impairment.