SPAN 2.0

About the project

The Stroke Preclinical Assessment Network (SPAN) is a multi-center multi-stage preclinical study of putative neuroprotectants combined with reperfusion. SPAN utilizes a novel, adaptive, secured system for parallel testing of promising interventions designed to extend the treatment time window and/or improve outcome compared to reperfusion when combined with thrombolysis, thrombectomy or both. 

SPAN was established to address a significant need in the scientific investigation of stroke treatment. In the past, a plethora of putative neuroprotectants proceeded to clinical trial based on favorable preclinical assessment, only to fail in subsequent clinical trials of human stroke patients. The recent successful development of thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke generated considerable enthusiasm for re-testing treatment candidates in combination with thrombectomy. Thus, SPAN is intended to screen and select highly promising treatment candidates for possible further study in human clinical trials. 

UI Team

Anil Chauhan photo
Anil K. Chauhan

Principal Investigator

Enrique Leira

Principal Investigator

Rakesh B. Patel



Mariia Kumskova




Daniel Thedens

Faculty, MRI

Aditi Jain


Abhishek Jha



A multi-laboratory preclinical trial in rodents to assess treatment candidates for acute ischemic stroke. Lyden PD, Diniz, MA Bosetti F, Lamb J, Nagarkatti KA, Rogatko A, Kim S, Cabeen RP, Koenig JI, Akhter K, Arbab AS, Avery BD, Beatty HE, Bibic A, Cao S, Boisserand LSB, Chamorro A, Chauhan A, Diaz-Perez S, Dhandapani K, Dhanesha N, Goh A, Herman AL, Hyder F, Imai T,  Johnson CW, Khan MB, Kamat P, Karuppagounder SS, Kumskova M, Mihailovic JM, Mandeville JB, Morais A, Patel RB, Sanganahalli BG, Smith C, Shi Y, Sutariya B, Thedens D, Qin T, Velazquez SE, Aronowski J, Ayata C, Chauhan AK, Leira EC, Hess DC, Koehler RC, McCullough LD, Sansing LH. Science Translational Medicine. 2023 Sep 20;15(714):eadg8656 doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.adg8656 (Online ahead of print).

Embracing Heterogeneity in The Multicenter Stroke Preclinical Assessment Network (SPAN) Trial. Morais A, Locascio JJ, Sansing LH, Lamb J, Nagarkatti K, Imai T, van Leyen K, Aronowski J, Koenig JI, Bosetti F, Lyden P, Ayata C. Stroke. 2023 Feb;54(2):620-631. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.122.040638. Epub 2023 Jan 5. Review. PubMed PMID: 36601951; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9870939.

The Stroke Preclinical Assessment Network: Rationale, Design, Feasibility, and Stage 1 Results. Lyden PD, Bosetti F, Diniz MA, Rogatko A, Koenig JI, Lamb J, Nagarkatti KA, Cabeen RP, Hess DC, Kamat PK, Khan MB, Wood K, Dhandapani K, Arbab AS, Leira EC, Chauhan AK, Dhanesha N, Patel RB, Kumskova M, Thedens D, Morais A, Imai T, Qin T, Ayata C, Boisserand LSB, Herman AL, Beatty HE, Velazquez SE, Diaz-Perez S, Sanganahalli BG, Mihailovic JM, Hyder F, Sansing LH, Koehler RC, Lannon S, Shi Y, Karuppagounder SS, Bibic A, Akhter K, Aronowski J, McCullough LD, Chauhan A, Goh A; SPAN Investigators. Stroke. 2022 Mar 31:101161STROKEAHA121038047. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.121.038047. Online ahead of print.

SPAN 1.0

UI stroke researchers led by Enrique Leira, MD, professor of neurology, and neurosurgery, and Anil Chauhan, PhD, professor of internal medicine, contributed the winning therapy in the rigorous pre-clinical Stroke Preclinical Assessment Network (SPAN) trial for testing cerebroprotective stroke treatments.

The UI-proposed therapy of uric acid supplementation was the only one of six options tested to succeed in minimizing brain tissue damage that can occur at the time of a stroke or when blood flow to the brain is restored (a process referred to as reperfusion.)

To better understand the importance and benefits of this research, Leira and Chauhan collaborated to explain the significance of their research. Both researchers contributed to the following responses.

SPAN 1.0 team: Enrique Leira (PI), Anil K. Chauhan (PI), Nirav Dhanesha (Co-I, Research Assistant Prof), Rakesh B Patel (Post-doc), Brijesh Sutariya (Post-doc), Mariia Kumskova (Post-doc), Daniel Thedens (Faculty, MRI), Angel Chamorro (Cons)