OSF HealthCare Illinois Neurological Institute

Clinical Trials and Research

The Illinois Neurological Institute and OSF HealthCare with the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP) has an active basic and clinical research program. A large University program in brain tumor research, with involvement of the clinical neurosurgery staff, studies the basic mechanisms of growth of malignant brain tumors, new chemotherapeutic agents and newer methods of radiation. These laboratories also study the use of stem cells in spinal and brain injury and have extensive NIH funding in support of the scientific staff.

Programs in Stroke, Epilepsy, Spinal Surgery, Multiple Sclerosis, Sleep and Radiosurgery have extensive clinical research trials. These studies are supported by public and private grants and the INI Foundation Research funds. New methods of spinal disc replacement are being studied. New methods for removal of clot from vessels within the brain, both with tiny catheters within the blood vessel and the new medical trials, are being investigated. New medications used in the management of attacks of multiple sclerosis are in clinical trial. Clinical research is an important element in each specialty center in the INI, assuring patients that the most current treatments are available.

With this cooperative relationship, the INI provides people in central Illinois state-of-the-art neuroscience diagnostic and treatment services in a distinctive environment melding research, teaching and tertiary care medicine.

Clinical Trials

View Clinical Trials by Specialty

To learn more about our research programs, please call (309) 655-7397.


INI Brain Tumor Center

  • EGRF-PDK1 interaction in a temozolomide resistant GBM model
  • DCVax-L - A phase III clinical trial evaluating DCVax-L, autologous dendritic cells pulsed with tumor lysate antigen for the treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme
  • Development of a novel method to access the language network for neurosurgical patients.
  • Multimodality imaging guided neurosurgery and tailored resection margins for GBM    
  • HSRT - A pilot study examining the role of pre-operative hypofractionated stereotactic radiation therapy followed by surgery in the treatment of cerebral metastatic disease
  • Brain tumor biology
  • Andrew Tsung MD, Kiran Velpula PhD, M. Bento Soares PhD

    Funded in fall cycle:

    “GLUT 1, tubulins and glucose availability: reversing the Warburg effect in glioblastoma”.  Colin Labak BS, Andrew Tsung, MD, Krishna Velpula, PhD

    Studies in Process:

    Liu, WenChing, Michael Zagardo, Andrew Tsung, Jeffery DeSanto  fMRI study of language paradigm maps in patients with infiltrative lesions in the hippocampal region 

    Velpula, Tsung Targeting EGFR/EGFRvIII in understanding altered metabolism in glioblastoma

    Velpula, Tsung Co-stimulatory targets in EGFR mediated immunotherapy in glioma

    Velpula, Tsung Metabolic control of PD-L1 expression in GBM

    Velpula, Tsung Nano conjugated miR-211 reduce the proliferation of triple negative breast cancers

    Velpula, Tsung Otx-2 interacts with c-Myc to determine the pathogenicity of group 3 medulloblastoma subtype

    Velpula, Tsung Identification of novel drugs that regulate mitochondrial metabolism mediated by EGFR expression.

    Malchenko S, Soares MB uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis in a mouse model of PNETS

INI Cerebrovascular Center

  • Rat ischemia model to study cell based therapy with human umbilical cord blood derived mesenchymal stem cells with gene therapy to knockdown target apoptotic genes in focal ischemia 
  • Predicting outcome after ICH: markers of clinical and surgical outcomes and in-hospital deterioration
  • MiSpace trial  - Minimally invasive Subcortical Parafascicular access for clot evacuation
  • Operative Techniques. The effect of incision on wound healing and infection in decompressive craniectomy
  • Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage outcomes study: analysis of vasospasm and clinical outcomes.

Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke

  • F.A.S.T. test by EMS in acute cerebral thrombosis (FASTER ACT) investigation study to improve treat times 
  • Outcome of patients with parenchymal intracerebral hemorrhage treatment with factor VII at discharge 
  • Use of Abciximab in acute ischemic stroke: a retrospective analysis 
  • Review of factors affecting outcomes in carotid surgery and stenting REFOCUS -  What are the characteristics of survivors and caregivers attending a stroke camp? 
  •  IRIS: Insulin resistance after stroke
  • RESPECT:  PTO closure with device vs medical management
  • SHINE: Stoke hyperglycemia Insulin
  • Drip and Ship –retrospective study of the use of IV TPA in rural hospitals in INI Stroke Network 
  • Network trial
  • Point:  Platelet-oriented inhibition in new tia and minor ischemic stroke
  • Attach II: Antihypertensive treatment of acute cerebral hemorrhage
  • Socrates: Ticagrelor vs ASA after stroke
  • Jeffery Klopfenstein MD Krishna Veeravalli PhD David Wang MD

    Funded in fall cycle:

    “Role of Tenascin-C in the progression of post-stroke brain damage in animals with chronic kidney disease”.  Bharath Chelluboina, PhD, Jeffery Klopfenstein, MD, Krishna Kumar Veeravalli, PhD

    Studies in process:

    Klopfenstein, Veeravalli K, MacMahon P, Evaluation of MMP-12 levels in acute ischemic stroke: A prospective clinical study

    Klopfenstein J, Veeravalli K, Stem cell treatment after ischemic stroke, a major heart disease of the brain: Gender difference in stroke severity and treatment outcome

    Kattah J, Johnson K, MacMahon P, study of decompression in cerebellar infarction

    Nair D, SETPOINT II A pragmatic randomized clinical trial to compare the effectiveness of early to delayed percutaneous tracheostomy in patients with respiratory failure after severe stroke. 

    Wang D, A Phase II safety and efficacy study of ALZT-OP1A as adjuvant treatment in subjects with post-ischemic stroke cognitive impairment (PSCI)

    Veeravalli, Klopfenstein Role of MMP-12 in the pathogenesis of brain damage after ischemic stroke.

    Veeravalli, Klopfenstein Elucidation of molecular mechanisms involved in stem cell-mediated neuroprotection after ischemic stroke.

    Veeravalli, Klopfenstein Sex and age differences in neurological outcome after stem cell treatment in rats subjected to ischemic stroke.

    Veeravalli, Klopfenstein Targeting Toll-like Receptor (TLR) signaling after ischemic stroke.

    Wang D RESECT PFO –randomized evaluation of recurrent stroke comparing PFO closure to established current standard of care treatment (RESPECT)

    Wang D A Phase III, case series clinical study of the reversal of the anticoagulant effects of Dabigatran by IV administration of 5.0 g Idarucizumab in patients treated with Dabigatran Etexilate who have uncontrolled bleeding or require emergency surgery procedures. RE-VERSE-AD trial

    Wang D Randomized, double-blind evaluation in secondary stroke prevention comparing the efficacy and safety of the oral thrombin inhibitor Dabigatran Etexilate (110mg or 150 mg oral b.i.d.) versus acetylsalicylic acid (100mg oral q.d.) in patients with embolic stroke of undetermined source (RESPECT ESUS)

Alzheimer's and Degenerative CNS Disease

  • Fukuchi Laboratory- Alzheimer's Disease
  • Innate immune dysfunction
  • Immune gene therapy
  • Brain glucose metabolism
  • Innate Immune dysfunction in AD
  • Hypothesis I: Aβ deposits induce microglial dysfunction, leading to exacerbation of  amyloidosis and neurodegeneration in AD. The microglial dysfunction is due to toll-like receptor (endotoxin) tolerance induced by Aβ aggregates (cell & animal models and patients).
  • Hypothesis II: Endotoxin tolerance can be readily identified in peripheral blood monocytes in MCI and AD patients (diagnosis).
  • Hypothesis III:AD can be prevented/treated by reversing endotoxin tolerance (microglia dysfunction) (prevention and therapy).
  • Ken-Ichiro Fukuchi MD, PhD, Julia Biernot MD
  • Funded in fall cycle:

    “Effect of Brain Radiation on Amyloid”.   Julia Biernot, MD, Ken-Ichiro Fukuchi MD, PhD, Theresa Regan, PhD

    Fukuchi K Role of exosomes and microRNAs in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease

    Fukuchi K Microglial dysfunction and neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease

    Fukuchi K IL-17 modulates insulin resistance, obesity, and Alzheimer pathophysiology

INI Epilepsy Center

  • Risk factors and causes of readmission in Epilepsy Patients  
  • TRIAL SP904  - A multicenter, open-label extension trial to assess the long-term use of lacosamide monotherapy and safety of lacosamide monotherapy and adjunctive therapy in subjects with partial-onset seizures
  • An open-label, multinational, multicenter, follow-up study to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of brivaracetam, used at a flexible dose up to a maximum of 150 mg/day, in subject’s aged 16 years or older suffering from epilepsy.
  • An open-label multi-center follow-up study to evaluate the long term safety and efficacy of brivaracetam used as adjunctive treatment in subjects aged 16 years or older with partial onset seizures 
  • Michael Xu MD, Eugene Ergene MD

    Ergene E, a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of SAGE-547 injection in the treatment of subjects with super-refractory status epilepticus protocol number: 547-SSE-301

    Xu M An open label, multicenter extension study to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of lacosamide as adjunctive therapy for uncontrolled primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in subjects with idiopathic generalized epilepsy EP0012

    Xu M A double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group multicenter study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of lacosamide as adjunctive therapy for uncontrolled primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in subjects with idiopathic generalized epilepsy SP0982

    Xu M 1379: An open-label, multicenter, follow-up study to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of Brivaracetam used as adjunctive treatment in subjects 16 years or older with partial onset seizures (follow up to 1358 study)

    Xu M UCB 1315: An open-label, multicenter, follow-up study to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of Brivaracetam used at a flexible dose up to a maximum of 150 mg/day in subjects aged 16 years of older suffering from epilepsy protocol NO1315

Cerebral and Spine Trauma

  • A prospective study of the relationship of neuropsychological and motor performance parameters with magnetic resonance imaging in athletes with mild traumatic brain injury
  • Dzung Dinh MD MBA, Daniel Fassett MD MBA, Krishna Veeravalli PhD

    Funded in fall cycle:

    “Studies on the use of anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) antibody combined with electrospun nanotechnology as functional excipients for the detection of GFAP traces found after mild brain trauma Kenneth Stonecipher, Dzung Dinh, MD MBA, Krishna Kumar Veeravalli, PhD

    Studies in process:

    Dinh D, Veeravalli, K Involvement of MMP-9 and MMP-12 in the development of neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury

    Fassett D, Orthofix Safety and Efficacy of Pulsed Electromagnetic fields (Cervical-Stim R) as an Adjunct to Enhance Union in Conservatively Treated Type II Fractures of the Odontoid Process

INI Neurological Infectious Disease

  • PCR and Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS) versus culture for identification of central nervous system pathogens

INI Multiple Sclerosis Center

  • Demographic and clinical characteristics of individuals with MS being treated by the INI MS Center
  • Ambient air quality: correlation between relapses in multiple sclerosis and ambient air quality in Central Illinois
  • Vitamin D: Correlation between relapses in multiple sclerosis (MS) and vitamin D intake
  • In development: MS outcome studies, 
  • ESTEEM (Phase IV)  - A multicenter, global, observational study to collect information on safety and to document the drug utilization of Tecfidera™ (dimethyl dumarate) when used in routine medical practice in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
  • STRATIFY (Phase IV) JCV Antibody program in patients with relapsing Multiple Sclerosis receiving or considering treatment with Tysabri®
  • TYGRIS - TYSABRI® Global Observational Program in Safety
  • STRATEGY -  A multicenter, retrospective, observational study evaluating real-world clinical outcomes in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients who transition from Tysabri® (natalizumab) to Tecfidera® (dimethyl fumarate)
  • ESCALATE:  A phase 4 multicenter, open-label, single arm study to evaluate switching from BRACTE/Gilenya to Natalizumab in subjects with relapsing forms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). 
  • PASSAGE (Phase IV): Long-term, prospective, multinational, parallel-cohort study monitoring safety in patients with MS newly started with fingolimod once daily or treated with another approved disease-modifying therapy
  • Dennis Garwacki MD Rueben Valenzuela MD Carl Asche PhD

    Studies in Process:

    Carl Asche PhD PCORI grant for outcomes study in MS

    Garwacki D. ASCEND: A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the efficacy of Natalizumab on reducing disability progression in subjects with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis

    Garwacki D BRAVO Extension-MS-LAQ-302E: A multinational, multicenter, open-label, single-assignment extension of the MS-LAW-302(BRAVO) study to evaluate the long term safety, tolerability and effect on disease course of daily oral laquinimod 0.6 mg in subjects with relapsing multiple sclerosis

    Garwacki D STIVE: A multicenter, observational, open-label, single-arm study of Tysarbri in early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in anti-JCV antibody negative patients

    Garwacki D BRAVO: A multinational, multicenter, randomized, parallel-group study performed in subjects with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis(RRMS) to assess the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of Laquinimod over placebo in a double-blind design and of a reference arm of Interferon B-1a (Avonex) in a rater-blinded study.

Neuro-Critical Care Center

  • A week in the Neurocritical care unit: Point prevalence observational study in Neurocritical care (PRINCE study)

Neuro-Ophthalmology and Vestibular Neurology

  • A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placo-controlled, phase 3, study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of SA237 as monotherapy in patients  with neuromyelitis optics (NMO) and neuromyelitis optic spectrum disorder ( (NMOSD)
  • LIIHTT NORDIC: Long-term follow-up of the cohort from a multicenter, double-masked, randomized, placebo-controlled study of weight-reduction and/or low-sodium diet plus acetazolamide vs. diet plus placebo in subjects with idiopathic intracranial hypertension with mild visual loss.
  • Jorge Kattah MD

    Funded in fall cycle:

     Ali Saber Tehrani, MD, Jorge Kattah, MD “Video head impulse test for follow up of cranial nerve 3-4-6 paresis”. 

    Studies in Process:

    AVERT: Acute video-oculography for vertigo in emergency rooms for rapid triage   A multi-center conducted at the INI, U of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Jorge Kattah MD

    A Radiographic Target Sign for Abnormal Vertebral Artery Flow In Stroke Patients With Acute Vestibular Syndrome; Ali Tehrani, Dr. Kattah.

    Neuro-ophthalmologic findings in autoimmune ataxias; approach and review; Ali Tehrani, Diana Londono, Dr. Kattah.

    Prostatic neuroendocrine tumor causing Anti Hu paraneoplastic disease presenting with ataxia; Ali Tehrani, Diana Londono, Dr. Kattah.

    Transition from Upbeat to Chronic Downbeat Nystagmus. Distinctive Characteristics in Thiamine Deficiency. Dr. Kattah, Ali Tehrani, Dr. Zee.

    Neuropathological Findings and Transient Peripheral Vestibular Signs in Wallenberg’s Syndrome.

    Specificity of head impulse test improvement after infusion of thiamine in diagnosing Wernicke’s syndrome. Ali Tehrani, Dr. Kattah.

    Fixation vs. pursuit effect on post-rotational nystagmus; Ali Tehrani, David Zee.

     Clinical features of oculomotor disorders in patients with immune-mediated cerebellar ataxias. Dr. Kattah, Diana Londono, Ali Tehrani, Dr. Lamichhane, Sarah Martin:

INI  Pain center

  • Trigeminal Neuralgia - Use of neuroimaging to study the pain network in patients of trigeminal neuralgia

INI Pediatric Neurosurgery

  • Use of shunt assistant for shunt over-drainage
  • Visual findings in shunted hydrocephalus
  •  Siblings with anterior sacral meningocele
  • Visual findings in Chiari 1 malformation
  • Lumbar spondylosysis with fatty filum
  • Co-Investigator for:  “A Neurophysiologic approach to studying teamwork in the operating room.”  OSF JUMP and Illinois Neurological Institute.  The purpose of this study is to capture EEG and communication data streams during simulation training scenarios and validate these new measures as objective, quantitative indicators of team learning. This study will help shape the understanding of what our brains do as we learn how to work together to take care of patients! The study uses EEG data to develop mathematical models of how experienced OR teams get “in sync” to take care of patients. This will help researchers develop better live simulation training, and to eventually evaluate the effectiveness of 3D virtual-world healthcare simulations.

INI Spine Institute

  • Analysis of 30 day readmission rates after spinal surgery: Do underfunded patients have higher readmission rates after spinal surgery
  • A retrospective study of advantages of intraoperative CT guided navigation for placement of spinal instrumentation in scoliosis surgeries.
  • XLIF - Multimodality neuromonitoring in extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF®)
  • Dzung Dinh MD MBA, Daniel Fassett MD MBA, Todd McCall MD

    Studies in process:

    McCall T, Vancomycin Powder for Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation

    Dinh D, Activ-L: approach for the treatment of adult scoliosis clinical study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the Aesculap Activ-L Artificial Disc in the treatment of degenerative disc disease

INI Vertigo Center

  • Head impulse sign in cerebellar, medullary stroke and peripheral  vestibular syndrome


  • Michael Zagardo MD, WenChing Liu PhD

    Studies in Process:

    Liu, WenChing, Tsung A, Klopfenstein J Clinical Functional MRI (fMRI) data base for research  


  • S. Zallek MD

    Funded in fall cycle:

    “Employee Sleep Health and Hygiene”.  Sarah Zallek, MD, Nicole Clevenger, BS, Rebecca Sells BS, Colin Kavanaugh, Sofia Rhode, Lauren Mueller, Sri Raghav, MD, Deepak Reddy, MD

Movement Disorders


  • D. Lamichhane MD

Studies in Process:

Lamichhane, Martinez, Behavioral and Neural Biomarkers of Postural Dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease

Pratt D, Hsiao-Wecksler E, Development of a Robotic Forearm to Simulate Abnormal Muscle Tone Due to Brain Lesion

Pratt D, Evaluation of QTUG combined with patient self-reported diaries in the treatment and reduction of falls in Parkinson’s patients

Process Improvement and Simulation

  • Anthony Avellino MD, MBA, Julian Lin MD

    Funded in fall cycle

    “A Neurophysiological Approach to Studying Teamwork in the Operating Room Ann Willemsen-Dunlap, PhD, CRNA, Anthony Avellino, MD, MBA, Ronald Stevens, PhD, Trysha Galloway, Jamie Gorman, PhD,

    Donald Halpin, MS

    Studies in process

    Julian Lin MD, Biomechanics and simulation of retraction brain injury  

    Lin J, Boyle J 3 D Modeling for classification and comparison of intracranial arachnoid cysts

     Lin, J, Boyle J, Egli S Microscopic versus endoscopic corpus callosotomy with “Live Cadaver” models in teaching neurosurgery residents. 

    Lin J, Kahn M, Avellino A, Design and Feasibility analysis of an improved cranial distractor

Population Health and Systems of Care


  • P. Tracy, A. Avellino, P. Elwood, A. Lotz

Tracy P, Elwood P, Avellino A, Nair D, A study of Neuroscience Interhospital Transfer Effectiveness in OSF Health Care