Student Stroke Team
In 1992, recognizing the need for earlier detection and treatment of strokes, famed UCLA emergency room physician and neurologist Dr. Sidney Starkman gathered a fortunate group of UCLA undergraduate students and entrusted them with the responsibility to serve as the "eyes and ears" of the UCLA Stroke Network. Since its humble beginnings, the UCLA Stroke Program has split into two separate sister organizations: Student Stroke Team and Stroke Force. Both programs have expanded into well-ordered and effective student-operated organizations, each consisting of roughly 25 students rigorously chosen from UCLA's student body. Today, Student Stroke Team operates 16 hours a day, seven days a week, and continues to serve their campus and local community with their dedicated team of members. SST members are research associates of Dr. Sidney Starkman for the UCLA Stroke Network and work alongside neurologists during code strokes in the Emergency Room of the UCLA Medical Center. Responsibilities include collecting information relating to the patient’s medical history and neurological deficits in order to identify potential candidates for enrollment in clinical trials that aim to find novel treatments for stroke. In this way, undergraduates are introduced to vascular neurology, emergency medicine, and clinical research. Students in the Student Stroke Team are involved in double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter research projects investigating the efficacy of various drugs and procedures applied to the patients that arrive in the UCLA Emergency Room with onset of acute ischemic stroke. As research associates, students learn the basis for the investigation of new drugs and interventions in stroke, the pre-clinical research, the phases of trials, and the proper interpretation of the results obtained. In their tasks, students utilize their knowledge of the study hypothesis and methodology, patient selection criteria, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and rationale for the use of the drug procedure. Altogether, students in this program play a significant role in the identification of candidates for stroke clinical trials while being exposed to stroke neurology, emergency medicine, unparalleled patient interaction and a tremendous knowledge of ongoing clinical trials.
Signatories: Mindy Kim, Manya Bali, and Daniel Bolotin
Advisor: Pamela R Cysner
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