Explore This Center

The American Heart Association – the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to a world of longer, healthier lives – with generous support from the Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation, has launched multidisciplinary teams at Massachusetts General Hospital, Yale University, and University of California San Francisco that together form the Association’s newest network of stroke research centers.

The ASA-Bugher Center at Mass General will advance brain health research and patient care and train a new generation of investigators focused on improving brain health in hemorrhagic stroke survivors.

Jonathan Rosand, MD
Co-Director of the McCance Center for Brain Health and Program Director for the ASA-Bugher Center
Graph of ICH outcomes
Disability and stroke recurrence are worse for ICH survivors, especially minorities

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), while accounting for no more than 25% of stroke, depending on where we live, is not only the deadliest, but also the most disabling, form of stroke. Because ICH in the elderly is the acute manifestation of common progressive forms of cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD), all ICH survivors are at very high risk for progressive deterioration of their brain health over time. Furthermore, this deterioration is accelerated for Black and Hispanic ICH survivors, yielding a substantial health disparity. Therefore, the primary goals of this Center are to improve outcomes and quality of life for ICH survivors and correct a considerable health-related race/ethnic inequity.

Center Projects

Diagram: 3 projects build on each other
The lead investigators at the ASA-Bugher Center at Mass General have extensive experience in studying patients with ICH and stroke and have developed a multi-pronged approach towards maximizing and maintaining brain health following hemorrhagic stroke.

Clinical Project

Led by Alessandro Biffi, MD, the focus of this project is to study social determinants of health and the social networks that influence blood pressure control, which is strongly associated with brain health after a hemorrhagic stroke. Those findings, combined with clinical, imaging and genetic data, will be used to design interventions to improve blood pressure control.

Population Project

Led by Christopher Anderson, MD, MMSc the focus of this project is to create a brain health risk assessment tool using electronic health records, followed by a clinical trial among physicians to assess how use of this tool can optimize brain health after a bleeding stroke. This project will also include building and testing polygenic risk scores and their usefulness in diverse populations.

Basic Science Project

Led by Susanne Janneke Van Veluw, PhD the focus of this project is to investigate cortical superficial siderosis (CSS), a novel biomarker for recurrent bleeding in hemorrhagic stroke and to identify the biology linking CSS to clinical deterioration. The goal is to generate targets for novel therapeutics that are effective in preserving brain health after a hemorrhagic stroke.

Training Program

The ASA-Bugher Center aims to foster progressive research careers in brain health and to inspire students who are underrepresented in Medicine to consider careers in academic medicine.

The innovative multi-disciplinary training program will train a new generation of investigators who will go on to focus their careers on preserving and enhancing brain health in ICH. In addition, because health disparities are fundamental to brain health in ICH, all trainees will be trained in health disparities and how to address them systematically in research and clinical settings.

The program offers a two-year Postdoctoral Training Program as well as a Scholars Program in collaboration with Tougaloo College. The program will include:

  1. Training in basic, clinical, and population science through webinars with experts from across the ASA-Bugher Foundation Centers of Excellence in Hemorrhagic Stroke Network
  2. Promoting intensive, multi-level career development to support effective mentoring networks and career progression
  3. Providing intensive training on oral presentations, manuscript preparation and grant writing

In addition, the program will catalyze synergies across the network of ASA-Bugher Foundation Centers of Excellence in Hemorrhagic Stroke and the Central Training Center to enhance the career development of the next generation of diverse, multidisciplinary hemorrhagic stroke scientists.