Neuroscience Research at
Santa Barbara Neuroscience Institute


SBNI is a partner in the newly-formed Translational Medical Research Laboratory at UC Santa Barbara. TMRL is a cross-discipline collaboration between the brightest minds at UCSB and renowned physicians practicing at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital to translate biomedical research into real-world solutions in the clinical setting. More at



Physicians and clinicians associated with the Institute also conduct research, making significant contributions to  neurosciences.  Some of the recent and ongoing studies include:



Closure After Recurrent Stroke Trial


Evaluation of closure of a patent foramen ovale (PFO) using the STARFlex Septal Repair System in patients with recurrent cryptogenic stroke due to presumed paradoxical embolism through a patent foramen ovale who have failed conventional drug therapy. 


Joseph Aragon, MD,  Principal Investigator

Sponsored by NMT Medical, Inc.



Investigating the Stroke-PFO Connection


A prospective, multicenter, randomized controlled trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the STARFlex® Septal Closure System versus best medical therapy in patients with a stroke and / or transient ischemic attack due to presumed paradoxical embolism through a patent foramen ovale. 

The CLOSURE I trial compares the effectiveness of permanent PFO closure with the STARFlex® septal repair implant against best medical therapy in preventing a recurrent embolic stroke / transient ischemic attack (TIA) and mortality in patients with a PFO.


Philip Delio, MD,  Principal Investigator. 

Sponsored by NMT Medical, Inc.


SAPPHIRE Worldwide

Stenting and Angioplasty with Protection in Patients at High-Risk for Endarterectomy


This landmark observational registry characterizes the outcomes of carotid artery stenting with distal embolic protection in high-surgical-risk patients. The devices to be used are the Cordis PRECISE® Nitinol Stent Systems and the Cordis ANGIOGUARD XP Emboli Capture Guidewire. The registry will collect prospective data for up to 10,000 patients across 275 clinical practices in the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Patient outcomes will be assessed at select intervals up to one year post-procedure and will provide valuable clinical data contributing to the understanding of the disease.


Alois Zauner, MD,  Principal Investigator.
Sponsored by Cordis


PENUMBRA – Penumbra Imaging Collaborative Study

A multi-center trial to assess outcome of patients revascularized by the Penumbra System. 

Using aspiration and a debulking technique, the Penumbra System is designed to revascularize large vessel occlusions in the intracranial circulation. The primary aim of this study is to gather data on the "real world" experience of the Penumbra System and to determine if there is a correlation between the imaging-defined size of the ischemic penumbra at admission and patient outcome in patients already treated by the System.


A secondary aim is to collect and summarize the 90-day functional outcome data on modified Rankin Scores (mRS) and all cause mortality for the purpose of sample size estimation for a potential randomized concurrent controlled trial.


Alois Zauner, MD,  Principal Investigator.

Sponsored by Penumbra, Inc.



Use of the Merci Retrieval System in Acute Ischemic Stroke


The Merci Registry is an ongoing prospective, open-label, competitive enrollment, multi-center, multi-national registry that began in 2007. It seeks to assess real-world use of the Merci Retriever® for thrombus removal in acute ischemic stroke patients.


Alois Zauner, MD,  Principal Investigator.

Sponsored by Concentric Medical, Inc.




For more information on these and other research initiatives, please contact Gary Milgram at 682-7111.