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Brett Kissela, MD, MS

He’s brilliantly improving the state of brain health.

The new UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute building opened on April 11, bringing under one roof the region’s leading treatment, research and education for complex neurological and psychiatric conditions. Brett Kissela, Albert Barnes Voorheis, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Research, impacts all three areas of the UC College of Medicine’s tripartite mission.

“We have clinical care, research Brett Kissela, MD, MS, at UC College of Medicineand teaching, so on a day-to-day basis I try and do all three of those things,” said Kissela. “I have an active clinical practice, so I still see patients in the outpatient setting and in the hospital. I care for patients who are acutely ill with neurologic problems that require hospitalization and then I take care of them afterwards as outpatients. And in that arena, I'm particularly interested in stroke recovery and preventing strokes in the future.”

Kissela also leads various clinical research initiatives around stroke prevention and recovery. He’s part of a long line of researchers developing innovative approaches in stroke treatment. 

“We do clinical research both in tracking disease and understanding new innovations. Whether it's to prevent stroke or to treat stroke when it happens to help patients recover, we offer opportunities for people to participate in that research and to scientifically test it to prove that it's the next thing,” said Kissela. “We think it's important to be able to offer these new advances and to help create the treatments of tomorrow.”

He’s particularly interested in understanding the racial disparities in stroke incidence, prevention and recovery. According to Kissela, African Americans experience much higher rates of stroke than Caucasians, though the death rate is the same. Kissela and his team are working on developing a platform to track strokes and patient outcomes across the city to better understand the disparities. 

“Only with the help of sophisticated information services and technology like machine learning and artificial intelligence can we track patient outcomes in a meaningful way,” said Kissela. 

Kissela came to Cincinnati because he was drawn to the UC College of Medicine’s legacy of impacting stroke care. The team has led advances in stroke care for more than 20 years, and new innovations continue to improve patient experiences. 

“It's crucial for the city that we continue to provide cutting edge research, that we continue to train medical students, residents and we have a unique niche,” said Kissela. 

The new UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute facility provides doctors and researchers like Kissela with a state-of-the-art facility to handle the most complex neurological and psychological conditions in the region. Locating the facility close to other physicians and researchers will increase opportunities for collaboration. The building is even designed with patients in mind, including areas with diffused lighting for patients who may experience migraines and other features to best meet the needs of those who struggle with neurological disorders.