Internationally recognized vascular neurologist and stroke researcher to head UChicago Medicine Department of Neurology

Shyam Prabhakaran, MD, MS, an internationally recognized leader in vascular neurology and stroke research and treatment, has been named professor and chair of the University of Chicago Medicine Department of Neurology effective February 1, 2019.

Prabhakaran joins UChicago Medicine from Northwestern University, where he served as Professor of Neurology, Director of Stroke Research, Director of the Vascular Neurology Fellowship, and Director of the Stroke Quality and Outcomes Research Enterprise. He currently serves as principal investigator of the Chicago regional coordinating center in the National Institutes of Health’s stroke trials network (NIH StrokeNet).

In addition to his leadership in reorganizing the stroke system of care in Chicago over the past decade, Prabhakaran has a strong track record of clinical and translational research that focuses on uncovering the underlying causes of recurrent strokes, improving the delivery of stroke care, and optimizing patient outcomes and recovery. He has led projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). His research is at the interface between clinical stroke, neuroimaging, and health services/community health.

Currently, Prabhakaran is leading a multi-site NIH-funded study of imaging predictors of recurrent stroke in patients with intracranial atherosclerotic disease. In addition, he is the principal investigator for a recently awarded study funded by AHRQ that aims to improve pre-hospital and inter-hospital stroke care using machine learning and other novel approaches.

Prabhakaran received his medical education at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now known as Rutgers New Jersey Medical School), and completed his residency in neurology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College, serving as chief resident in his final year. He followed this with a clinical fellowship in vascular neurology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, and completed a T32 training program in neuro-epidemiology there while simultaneously earning a Master of Science degree in epidemiology at Columbia University.

He has authored numerous seminal peer-reviewed manuscripts and numerous book chapters, and he is an elected fellow of the American Heart Association and the American Neurological Association, where he also serves in a number of leadership roles including chair of the AHA’s Stroke Performance Measures Oversight Committee. He has also served in a variety of editorial roles at various journals.

In addition, Prabhakaran has demonstrated a strong commitment to the education and mentorship of fellows and junior faculty. He has been honored for his contributions to teaching, receiving the John A. Kessler Resident Teaching Award from Northwestern University in 2013. He has mentored numerous fellows and residents into careers in stroke medicine and stroke-related research projects. He directed the Stroke Outcomes Research Training Program at Northwestern, an NIH-supported fellowship training program on methodologies in clinical trials, qualitative research, and epidemiology.