Preclinical Research

The focus of our preclinical research is on developing new therapeutic strategies. They include investigating:

  • Microglia Cells
  • Therapeutic Hypothermia
  • Thrombin
  • Stem cells
  • Translational

Microglia Cells

We are studying the role of microglia cells in neurogenic hypertension. Experimental results show that activating microglia cells and proinflammatory cytokines in the parventricular nucleus contributes to neurogenic hypertension. Inflammatory processes have a fundamental role in the pathophysiology of stroke. We are pursuing the hypothesis that hypertension is an inflammatory disease of the brain.

Therapeutic Hypothermia

Brain cooling protects the brain during stroke. Stories of drowning survivors rescued from ice covered lakes tell us that the brain might tolerate injury if cold. Using cell culture and other experimental methods, Cedars-Sinai investigators are exploring the important parameters for applying therapeutic hypothermia to patients. We are especially interested in the effect of therapeutic hypothermia on different elements of the brain, such as neurons, astrocytes, and endothelial cells.


Earlier research shows that in ischemic stroke, the normal blood protein thrombin escapes intact arteries and damages brain cells. We're using fluorescence in experiments to highlight thrombin and follow its migration and interactions with other molecules in blood vessels and brain tissue. We aim to determine where thrombin originates and what types of cells it destroys.

Stem Cells

Using experimental models, we're developing novel neural stem cell therapy for ischemic stroke. We're transplanting human neural stem cells derived from induced pluropotent stem cells into experimental models to determine if these cells can regenerate dead cells after a stroke. We are also working on strategies to precondition neural progenitor cells to allow immune invasion after cell transplantation.


Our internationally recognized translational research team develops neuroprotectant strategies to repair damage at the molecular level in acute ischemic stroke. Current translational projects investigate:

  • Use of a high-fidelity screening model to predict efficacy and failure
  • Usage of three stroke models to lower the risk of therapy development
  • Utilization of stem cell technology to promote clinical recovery following hemorrhagic stroke
  • Development of methods to evaluate metabolic function changes in ischemic stroke
  • Novel compounds, nanoparticles and devices

Clinical Trials

Cedars-Sinai investigators are participating in multiple clinical trials evaluating various stent and imaging technology, as well as drugs and minimally invasive surgical procedures, to treat hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke. These projects include:

  • 3K3A-APC and tPA in Moderately Severe Acute Hemispheric Ischemic Stroke (RHAPSODY)
  • International Paediatric Stroke Study
  • MR WITNESS: A Study of Intravenous Thrombolysis With Alteplase in MRI-Selected Patients
  • POSITIVE Trial (Perfusion Imaging Selection of Ischemic Stroke Patients for Endovascular Therapy)
  • PRISMS (Evaluating the Efficacy and Safety of Alteplase in Patients with Mild Stroke: Rapidly Improving Symptoms and Minor Neurologic Deficits)
  • WEAVE Trial: Post Market Surveillance Study of the Wingspan Stent System