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Neuroscience Research

Clinical research that brings the latest in technology and therapy to patients; public and professional education; and clinical excellence are the three pillars of the Saint Luke’s Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute. Together, they guarantee excellent outcomes for the care we provide and attract the best well-trained clinicians who want to practice in a vibrant and inquisitive environment.

The Neuroscience Institute occupies 88,000 square feet on six floors. There are 68 private rooms and an 18 bed neuro-intensive care unit. Four neurosurgical suites and two neurointerventional suites are equipped with the latest technology. The new space has been an influential factor in attracting subspecialty trained physicians and nurses to the 12 programs within the Institute. Recruitment is underway to establish a neurocritical care service.

Clinical and translational research are a part of each of our programs. Many clinicians are publishing and presenting sponsored or original research in peer-reviewed journals and on the national stage of professional society meetings.

Model Medicine

Three-dimensional printed models of cerebral arteries with saccular aneurysms can be used for surgical planning and patient education. Printing these models is challenging because cerebrovascular trees consist of a single central support with nearly the entirety of the model hanging over empty space. 

Coleman O. Martin, M.D., thoroughly vetted four common printing techniques to assess survivability, time required to free printed model from supporting structure, and material cost. Results found ICA circulation aneurysms can be printed with ABS plastic and methacrylate photopolymer resin and were the most affordable option, costing on average a tenth less than ABS with polystyrene and significantly Coleman O. Martin, M.D. less than stereolithography.

Learn more about Dr. Martin's 3-D models.

Recent highlights

In 2015, Stanley P. Fisher, M.D., joined Saint Luke’s Health System. Dr. Fisher is the Institute’s medical co-director. 

Saint Luke’s Neuro-Oncology program is a joint program of Saint Luke’s Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute and Saint Luke’s Cancer Institute. This partnership adds another level of expertise to the current and future care of our brain tumor patients. Faris Farassati, Ph.D., Pharm.D., is collaborating with the Institutes as the lead in brain tumor translational research. He has extensive experience in the use of oncolytic viruses that seek out and kill malignant brain tumor cells within the normal brain tissue. This approach is similar to the virus therapies that are being used to treat malignant melanoma.

John Croom, M.D., serves as principal investigator for DZNS-EP-1025, a multicenter research study sponsored by Acorda. This study will evaluate the safety and tolerability of intermittent usage of diazepam delivered by a nasal spray for epilepsy patients with cluster seizures.

In March of 2015, Saint Luke’s Multiple Sclerosis Center obtained The National Multiple Sclerosis Society Partners in Care certification. The MS team includes Christine M. Boutwell, M.D., and Deborah L. Sobotka, R.N., M.S.N., ANP-BC. The center has been actively involved in clinical research for multiple sclerosis since 2005.

Current studies include:

  • A long-term, multicenter, non-interventional observational study monitoring long-term safety and effectiveness of fingolimod in patients with multiple sclerosis who have participated in the fingolimod clinical development program
  • CARE-MSSM Extension Study for multiple sclerosis patients who participated in genzyme-sponsored studies of alemtuzumab
  • A 12-month, randomized, rater- and doseblinded study to compare the efficacy and safety of using fingolimod and glatiramer acetate in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

In addition to her work with MS, Dr. Boutwell serves as the principal investigator for the SOCRATES trial. This multicenter, randomized, placebo controlled trial will compare the effect of 90-day treatment with ticagrelor versus aspirin for the prevention of major vascular events (composite of stroke, myocardial infarction, and death) in patients with acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack. Recruitment has ended and investigators are compiling the findings.

Contact us

For more information about Saint Luke's Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute research, call 816-932-9013.