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Stroke Research & Education Center

Stroke Research Center

Stroke Research and Education Center


Daniel T. Lackland, Dr.P.H.
Daniel T. Lackland, Dr.P.H.
Director, MUSC Stroke Research and Education Center


The Stroke Research and Education Center, within the Stroke Neurology Division, provides a dedicated resource to enhance cerebrovascular education and research activities conducted at MUSC. The Center provides expertise and mentoring services for enhancing research opportunities and grant development. Specifically, the Center facilitates the productivity of investigators and educators focused on stroke by enhancing collaborations both domestically and globally.

Our Team

strikeout stroke photo

The Stroke Research and Education Center includes faculty and staff involved in many National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research studies focused on treating and preventing stroke more effectively. The Stroke Research Faculty includes not only Stroke Neurologists, but also Stroke Epidemiologists and Emergency Medicine Physicians.

Annual Strike Out Stroke Event

Dr. Lackland and his team have been doing the Strike Out Stroke event for the past 20 years as a community outreach effect to increase blood pressure awareness for stroke prevention. The interprofessional and interdisciplinary team includes clinicians as well as trainees of all levels. Each year the program measures hundreds of blood pressures with nearly 30percent considered ‘high’. All participants are provided information about hypertension and stroke prevention, with high levels referred to medical care. The program certainly is effective in blood pressure awareness with the ‘know your numbers’ theme but with the early detection and clinician counseling with referral to medical care at each event – may indeed be preventing a stroke.


The Stroke Research and Education Center (SREC) at MUSC engages in cutting-edge, comprehensive research in stroke treatment, prevention, and recovery. Our largest ongoing research grant projects include the CREST-2 trial, NIH StrokeNet, COBRE, and WISSDOM study. Please read below to learn more about our research grants.

The CREST-trial is an NIH (National Institutes of Health) funded stroke study. MUSC oversees the Intensive Medical Management for the CREST2 Trial. CREST2 is studying different approaches to stroke prevention in people who have asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis. The trial compares the outcomes of carotid stenting or surgery combined with intensive medical management to intensive medical management alone. More information at Crest2trial.

The NIH Stroke Trials Network program serves to coordinate a national regional network of 25 medical centers in order to develop, promote, and conduct high-quality, multi-site clinical trials focused on stroke prevention, emergency treatment, and recovery. MUSC was selected to be a regional coordinating center for the network and is the only coordinating center in the Carolinas.

The NIH funded COBRE award, or Center for Biomedical Research Excellence award, supports MUSC's development of an innovative Stroke Recovery Research CenterThe center aims to improve the treatment and long-term quality of life for stroke survivors. It uses an interdisciplinary approach and cutting-edge technology to understand how the brain repairs itself and to enhance post-stroke rehabilitation and outcomes.

The WISSDOM study is MUSC’s most recent award funded by the American Heart Association. This four-part study will focus on reducing stroke disparities in African Americans who do not recover as well from strokes compared to other populations. 

Other projects include:

CHIASM –An imaging study that uses high-resolution MRI imaging to identify atherosclerotic plaque components in patients with stroke or transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) due to intracranial stenosis and those with asymptomatic intracranial stenosis.

ChAMPION- Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide and is commonly due to atherosclerosis of the brain arteries (intracranial atherosclerosis). We propose to develop a collaborative international imaging research network in China and North America that will use MRI to help understand the biology of intracranial atherosclerosis and potentially lead to new treatments for this common cause of stroke worldwide.

THRIVES-This research seeks to develop an effective and sustainable way of reducing the devastating and deadly impact of stroke in a low-income region of the world with poor medical infrastructure. It will do so by focusing on improving the treatment of the condition most closely tied to stroke, hypertension, using novel methods that incorporate the input of the local community. If successful, the strategy could serve as a ready model to be adapted by decision-makers in other under-resourced areas for lessening the burden of stroke (and other major public health challenges).

PINGS-This research seeks to develop a culturally-acceptable, effective, and sustainable way of utilizing the rapidly growing penetration of mobile phones among people in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), to improve the currently poor control of hypertension among patients at high risk for future stroke. It also aims to develop human capital in SSA to conduct locally-relevant, high-quality stroke research in the future. Specifically, this study will preliminarily test a strategy that incorporates mobile phone texting and home blood pressure monitoring directed by trained nurses, to improve patient adherence to proven medical therapies for treating hypertension.

SIREN-Stroke is a leading cause of death, disability, dementia, and depression among Black Africans and Black Americans, but the unique factors contributing to stroke occurrence in the former, and the precise reasons underlying a high predilection for stroke among the latter (compared to their Non- Hispanic White counterparts) remain poorly understood. SIREN, which is the largest study of stroke in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to date, will first comprehensively investigate the socio-demographic, clinical and genetic characteristics of stroke among Black stroke survivors in SSA, and then compare these findings to those observed in a cohort of Black stroke survivors in the United States. SIREN is poised to substantially enhance our understanding of factors that could be addressed to improve stroke outcomes, and possibly other vascular disease entities such as coronary artery disease and chronic kidney disease in SSA; while simultaneously exploring potentially modifiable genetic pathways to stroke risk that may be common to Black Africans and Black Americans.

The SREC also collaborates with the Center for Biomedical Imaging

MUSC Stroke also has a large clinical trial portfolio. Ongoing studies can be found on South Carolina Research Studies.


lackland student photo1

Our Team

Specific Educational programs offered in conjunction with the Stroke Research and Education Center:

Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR):

  • The MSCR program trains individuals to become principal investigators on grants, faculty in medical schools and team leaders who are seeking careers in clinical research. The program is a component of the educational core of the South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute, and is compliant with core competencies recommended by the Association for Clinical Research Training. The degree is granted through the College of Graduates Studies. The objective of this program is to prepare health professionals for research in the clinical setting, with an emphasis placed on practical applications of scientific issues.

Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP):

  • The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) offers outstanding undergraduate students the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on cutting edge biomedical research projects. Participants in this 10-week program are to perform at a graduate student level. Students are placed with faculty members whose research is closely related to academic interests and professional goals of the students. Students work with faculty on an individual basis or as part of a research team.

Summer Health Professionals Research Program (SHP):

  • The goal of the program is to introduce students in the health professions to biomedical research by allowing them to work during the summer in a research environment under the guidance of an experienced investigator.

Continuing Medical Education Program:

  • We strive to support physicians by providing exemplary educational activities which teach evidence-based practices and identify new and emerging health care needs so that, through education, we can significantly improve health. Information is available on upcoming conferences, workshops, grand rounds, case conferences and web based CME. Resources are provided to assist physicians and other Health care professionals in the care of their patients.

World Hypertension League:

  • The objectives of the World Hypertension League are to promote the detection, control and prevention of arterial hypertension in populations. The World Hypertension League is a federation of leagues, societies, and other national bodies devoted to this goal. The thrust of the WHL's action is in liaison with the member organizations, promoting the exchange of information among them, and offering internationally applicable methods and programs for hypertension control.

ACGME Accredited Vascular Neurology Fellowship:

  • The MUSC stroke fellowship offers opportunities for both clinical and epidemiological research and fellows will be encouraged to participate in research projects. Areas of interest to the stroke group include medical and endovascular treatment of intracranial atherosclerosis, endovascular treatment for acute ischemic stroke, long-term prognosis of stroke-related sickle cell disease, telemedicine, high-resolution MRI for identification of vulnerable intracranial plaque, and stroke risk and outcomes in South Carolina.


Visit the Neurosurgery Giving Page to find out more about giving to the MUSC Stroke Research and Education Center Support Fund.