Research

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Cutting-edge research in neurosurgery

NeurosurgeonsBecause we deal with some of the most complicated and difficult neurosurgical diseases, we constantly face problems for which there are not definite answers. Our basic, translational and clinical research programs are focused on better understanding these problems, which can lead to effective treatments in the future.

Research in the Department of Neurosurgery encompasses a wide spectrum of projects including:

  • Stem cell use in the treatment of neurological disorders such as ischemic brain injury, Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injury
  • Gene therapies, including development of vector systems for treating lysosomal storage disorders of the brain such as MPS I (Hurler Syndrome) and MSP II (Hunter's Syndrome)
  • Neuro-oncology projects, including a collaboration with the Department of Pediatrics and College of Veterinary Medicine to create vaccines to fight brain tumors in humans and their canine companions as well as multicenter trials for treatments of brain tumors using blood brain barrier disruption
  • Projects on neuro-protective compounds include the study of anti-apoptotic agents such as tauro-ursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) to prevent neuronal loss in conditions such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease and spinal cord injury
  • Projects on neuro-transport include the study of water movement for hydrocephalus and debris/blood from trauma out of the intracranial cavity.
Research ethics at the University of Minnesota

We are committed to protecting research participants, upholding ethical standards, and improving our practice at every step of our work. Learn more about our commitment to research ethics.

Basic and Translational Research

vialsMuch of our neurosurgical research is used to quickly and efficiently "translate" findings from basic science research into medical practice thus enabling us to improve the lives of our patients.

We recently won a significant National Institute of Health grant that gives participating scientists and clinicians a unique opportunity to collaborate on understanding the neurobiology of disease. The goal is to discover novel therapies for treating neurological disorders.

Clinical Research

Our neurosurgeons are leading active and investigative clinical trials to further advance patient treatments and offer better outcomes in the areas of Brain Tumors, Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy, and Vaccine Therapies.