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Research Focus Areas

Our faculty, residents and fellows are committed to the research enterprise, and they are actively leading and contributing to innovative studies and clinical trials in a wide range of sub-specialties.


Our expert faculty members are committed to improving the quality of life for people with epilepsy. One crucial way we do this is through our research and clinical trials. But we can't do it alone. We need your help!

Who can participate?
Truly anyone who is interested in participating in clinical research can volunteer. In fact, millions of people just like you volunteer to participate in research studies every day.

Why should you volunteer?
Clinical research is the final step of all medical advances. Research helps us look at new ways to prevent, diagnose or treat disease. Each research study helps doctors and scientists understand epilepsy better. Participating in research is a way to give back to the broader epilepsy community and to improve future epilepsy treatments. We invite anyone interested in volunteering for one of our research studies to get involved. Together we can help make a difference in the lives of people with epilepsy.

Our research opportunities
We offer research opportunities in a variety of areas. We are actively enrolling participants in multiple ongoing studies.

  • Clinical trials
    • Epilepsy Medicine Treatment Trials
      • A Study to Evaluate XEN1101 as Adjunctive Therapy in Focal Epilepsy ( Identifier: NCT03796962)
        • A Brief Description: The XEN1101 Phase 2 clinical trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that will evaluate the clinical efficacy, safety and tolerability of increasing doses of XEN1101 administered as adjunctive treatment in adult patients (aged 18-75 years) diagnosed with focal epilepsy taking 1-3 antiepileptic drugs, followed by an optional open-label extension.
        • Time Frame In the double-blind treatment period the time frame is from baseline (8 weeks prior to Day 0) through to the final dose (up to Day 56).
        • Compensation: Each visit, including screening and baseline, will be compensated with $150 for the participant's time.
    • Epilepsy Surgery Outcomes
      • Laser Ablation of Abnormal Neurological Tissue Using Robotic NeuroBlate System (LAANTERN) ( Identifier: NCT02392078)
        • A Brief Description: Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is a minimally invasive epilepsy surgery technique. It is also called laser ablation. LAANTERN is a prospective, multi-center registry that includes data collection up to 5 years to evaluate safety, quality of life, and procedural outcomes after LITT for epilepsy. There is a separate arm in this study evaluating intracranial tumors as well.
        • Time Frame: There is a baseline appointment to capture data pre-operative appointment to compare post-operative data to. Following the operation there is a 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, 12 month, 24 month, 36 month, 48 month, and finally a 60 month post-operative visit.
        • Compensation: The participant will be compensated $50 for each post-operative visit. The participant will have the opportunity to collect $400 if they attend every visit.
      • Medtronic Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy for Epilepsy Post-Approval Study (EPAS) ( Identifier: NCT03900468)
        • A Brief Description: The purpose of this post-approval study is to further evaluate the long-term safety and effectiveness of Medtronic DBS therapy for epilepsy on seizure reduction in newly implanted participants through 3 years of follow-up in different geographic populations.
        • Time Frame: Once enrolled, this study takes place a little over the course of three years. There will be one visit two weeks post-operation to activate the DBS device. After that there will be a 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, 12 month, 24 month, and 36 month visit.
        • Compensation: Compensation for this study is dependent on participation. Please ask for more details.
  • Improving Understanding of Epilepsy
    • Written Language Abilities During Aphasic Seizure
      • Brief Description: Participant that are treated at The University of Kansas Health System Epilepsy or Neurology Clinics and those that are treated in the inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit will be assessed for the type of seizure they have (done routinely). The aim of the study is to assess what writing ability is like during aphasic seizures. The hypothesis is that aphasic seizures would also affect written language (agraphia).

All our research studies happen here at KU Medical Center, one of 36 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities, an invitation-only organization for the nation's top research universities. We also partner with The University of Kansas Health System, which provides patient care and has the only Level 4 Epilepsy Center in the state of Kansas.

Here's how you can get involved
To learn more about available epilepsy research opportunities and your eligibility for studies, please contact Lauren Holland, Clinical Research Coordinator, 913-634-2893 and or speak with your epilepsy doctor.

Epilepsy research studies and publications

Dementia/Alzheimer's Disease

As one of only 31 Alzheimer's Disease Centers designated nationally by the National Institutes of Health, the University of Kansas Alzheimer's Disease Center has long been a leader in ground-breaking dementia research. The KU ADC offers lots of opportunities for you to get involved.

Research studies generally fall in three main categories:

  • Discovery and Innovation Studies
  • Investigational Medicine Trials
  • Exercise and Lifestyle Intervention Trials

To learn more or to enroll in a study or clinical trial, visit the KU ADC website.


Our Neuromuscular Division is one of the largest and most active research and clinical trial units in North America. We engage in a range of local, national and international studies on variety of neuromuscular diseases and conditions.

Our mission is to better understand the natural history of disease; improve our knowledge of disease biomarkers; and to translate research advances into improved diagnoses, care and educational resources for people with neuromuscular diseases.

Here are some of the areas we study.

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Myasthenia Gravis/ Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS)
  • Neuropathy
  • Myositis
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
  • LGMD
  • Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD)
  • Pompe
  • Myotonic Dystrophy

Visit our website to learn more about us and our currently enrolling studies.

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder

Committed to improving the quality of life for people with Parkinson's disease and movement disorders, we offer a variety of research studies and clinical trials.

Parkinson's Disease
For more information, take a look at the currently enrolling studies on the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder website.

Movement Disorder
We currently have two studies related to Huntington's Disease.

  • ENROLL-HD is a natural history study of people with HD, those who may be at risk of inheriting the HD gene, and family members.
  • PROOF-HD is a randomized placebo controlled clinical trial of pridopidine in people with early Huntington's disease.

For more information, contact Carolyn Gray, RN, CCRC, at or call 913-588-6983.


Our stroke and neurocritical care faculty, fellows, and residents are committed to providing exceptional care to patients and their families. Through this process we are very active in national and international clinical trials, providing volunteers an opportunity to participate in cutting-edge of research, advancing medical knowledge and helping future patients. We could not do this work without our research volunteers, so your participation is very important, and we need your help!

    • Phase 3, prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to compare efficacy of tenecteplase (clot busting drug) versus placebo in acute ischemic stroke patients in 4.5-24 hours of last known normal
    • Primary Investigator: Dr. Sabreena Slavin
    • Age ≥ 18
  • MOST
    • Multi-arm optimization of stroke thrombolysis: a single-blind, randomized controlled adaptive, multi-arm, adjunctive-thrombolysis efficacy trial in ischemic stroke
    • Primary Investigator: Dr. Laith Maali
    • Must be treated with 0.9mg/kg IV tPA (standard of care clot buster approved for stroke treatment) within three hours of stroke onset or last known normal
    • Must be able to receive assigned study drug within 60 minutes but no later than 75 minutes of IV tPA
  • SELECT 2
    • Randomized controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of endovascular thrombectomy compared to medical management in acute ischemic stroke patients due to large vessel occlusion who have signs of tissue damage on imaging: large core on either CT (ASPECTS 3-5) and/or CTP CBF ≥50cc within 0-24 hours from last known well
    • Primary Investigator: Dr. Michael Abraham
    • IV tPA allowed up to 4.5 hours
    • Hypothesis is that saving at least some of the tissue may still lead to better outcomes than if nothing is done
    • Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multicenter, phase 3 study to compare intravenous Glibenclamide versus placebo in patients with large hemispheric infarction to improve 90 day functional outcomes.
    • Primary Investigator: Dr. Michael Abraham
    • Age 18 to 70 years
    • MCA territory large hemispheric infarction defined as: lesion volume 80-300 cm3 MRI/CTP or ASPECTS 1-5 with involvement of at least 2 defined cortical regions (core volume remains 80-300cm3 post endovascular treatment)
    • NIHSS ≥10
    • AtRial Cardiopathy and Antithrombotic Drugs In Prevention After Cryptogenic Stroke
    • Sub-study: CSI (Cognition & Silent Infarct)
    • Primary Investigator: Dr. Jorge Kawano
    • Compare efficacy of apixaban versus aspirin therapy in patients who have evidence of atrial cardiopathy and recent embolic stroke of undetermined source in outcomes evaluation of recurrent stroke and safety outcomes of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage and any major hemorrhage
    • Adults ≥45 years
    • Adult stem cell administration for stroke treatment and enhanced recovery study
    • Evaluate the efficacy of MultiStem (Allogeneic, regenerative medicine advanced therapy produced from young adult bone marrow donors) within 36 hours of symptom onset on 90-day mRS functional outcome in patients with ischemic stroke
    • Primary Investigator: Dr. Sabreena Slavin
    • Age >18 years within 18-28 hours post-onset of stroke symptoms or last known normal and a persistent deficit of NIHSS 8-20 that does not change by >4 points from screening to baseline
    • Statins Use in Intracerebral Hemorrhage
    • Spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) presenting within 7 days of lobar ICH while taking statins will be randomized to one of two treatment strategies: discontinuation vs continuation of statin therapy
    • Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Abraham
    • No recent history of MI
  • Bilirubin oxidation and cerebral vasospasm in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) pilot study
  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Abraham
  • Stefano Byer, MS3
  • Pilot study analyzing cerebrospinal fluid of patients with SAH and association of free radical oxidation of bilirubin and heme metabolism and causality of vasospasm

A challenge with stroke trials is that patients are frequently unable to consent and family members often are not present or have not yet arrived at hospital. In some cases, we can offer e-consent as an option. 

E-consent is available for the following studies and clinical trials:

  • SELECT 2
  • MOST

For more information about our stroke/vasular research opportunities, contact our research coordinators Alissa Poitras at, Justin Moore at and Carissa Walter at

Last modified: May 17, 2021