Neuroscience research


The mission of the neuroscience research department at Allina Health is to advocate and advance neuroscience research across numerous clinical programs with the ultimate goal of improving patient care.

Our work

Along with patient care and education, research is a pivotal component of Allina Health’s neuroscience programs. Currently, we have investigators who specialize in a wide range of clinical areas including neuro-oncology, neuropathology, neuroradiology, stroke care and neurophysiology. We continually strive to apply the discoveries made from our research projects toward improvements in inpatient care. We also bring what we learn from patients back to the research team to enhance our understanding of neuroscience. This bench-to-bedside approach allows us to move discoveries more quickly into the patient-care setting while helping researchers refine therapies and techniques based on clinical observations.

With limited treatment options for many brain disorders, the clinical care team is often faced with challenges delivering innovative care to patients with brain tumors and stroke.  Allina Health's research team provides access to cutting-edge industry-sponsored drug and device trials to patients with brain disorders. Additionally, in alignment with Allina Health’s mission of Whole Person Care, we have a multitude of quality-of-life focused research studies.

Allina Health’s Neuroscience research team members work hand in hand with expert clinicians to advance neuroscience care through public forums and interviews, presentations at national and international scientific conferences, and publications of study results in peer-reviewed journals.

Our research staff includes specialized research nurses, clinical research project managers, study coordinators and regulatory specialists. With this strong research support infrastructure in place, we have developed a robust research agenda to investigate important information about disease trends and risk factors, outcomes of treatment or public health interventions, functional abilities and patterns of care in all neuroscience programs.

Patients and study participants

Neuroscience research department’s nurses and study coordinators carefully screen patients who are interested and eligible for enrollment in neuroscience research studies.

Participation in a research study is voluntary and patients must agree to participate before enrollment in a study. Before a study begins, study participants must meet specific criteria. These criteria include factors such as type of stroke and stage of brain cancer, safety parameters and general health status. These are to ensure that the study will be safe for participants, risks are in line with potential benefits to patients, and researchers will be able to answer the questions they plan to study.

Those who participate in a clinical trial may have the opportunity to receive first access to the newest treatments and medication.

Being a participant in a research study is a unique opportunity to play an active role in health care and lend a helping hand to others by contributing to medical research.

Our research team

Sarah Pederson
Director, Neuroscience Research

Marie Meyer
Manager, Neuroscience Research

Kelsey Jackson
Nurse Researcher Senior

Katrina Stremski
Nurse Researcher

Maxwell Klaiman
Project Manager

Carol Vake
Clinical Research Regulatory Specialist

Kaitlin Lundell
Research Project Specialist

Jennifer Murwin
Research Project Specialist

Nimco Essa
Clinical Research Specialist

Katie Johnson
Clinical Research Specialist

Riley Johnke
Clinical Research Specialist

Current clinical trials 2023 Neuroscience Research Annual Report