My research is focused on stroke, cerebral blood flow regulation, and brain imaging. In preclinical models as well as clinical trials we explore mechanisms by which brain ischemia leads to cell death, and develop novel approaches to intercept mechanisms of damage in acute brain damage, as well as to foster regeneration and repair. We are particulary interested in how the brain protects itself (‘endogenous neuroprotection’), and how the brain interacts with other systems of the body after it has been injured. For example, stroke may acutely compromise the immune system, which partially explains why many stroke victims suffer or even die from infection.
My growing frustration regarding the difficulties to translate basic research to novel and effective therapies in stroke in particular, and in biomedicine in general, has kindled my interest to study the underlying causes of this ‘translational bottleneck’. Disturbingly, I discovered that the predictiveness of biomedical research is impaired by quality issues. On the positive side, since we scientists are responsible for the quality of our research, we can improve it right away. Consequently, I joined fellow scientists in a crusade to increase the power of our experimental designs, to reduce bias, to improve the internal as well as external validity, and the reporting of our research.