• Research in Neurology


    The mission of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center's Department of Neurology is to provide the best possible care for patients with neurological disorders. We believe this mission is best accomplished by compassionate physicians with subspecialty interests, training and experience, who work in a culture where collaboration, education and clinical research are valued. Every department member has extensive clinical experience in the full spectrum of neurological disorders, as well as one or more subspecialty interests in which they maintain a particularly high level of expertise to benefit both their patients and their colleagues.

    Multiple weekly conferences allow each neurologist to work collaboratively with others and to stay abreast of new developments in all aspects of neurology.

    Neurology Research 

    Nick Ventura, Neurology Research Associate Team LeadResearch programs at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center encompass more than 200 clinical trial protocols. The clinical staff of the Neurology Department possess extensive experience in conducting research and clinical trials and are currently involved in over 30 research trials


    We have above average recruitment success due to the following factors:

    • A large geographical patient population
    • Research newsletters from the Department of Neurology updating Lahey Hospital & Medical Center colleagues of ongoing clinical trials 
    • Research pages on both the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center intranet and www.Lahey.org   
    • Education of community and local groups about the latest treatments and developments pertaining to individuals’ specific medical conditions 
    • An active marketing department that develops recruitment advertising specifically focused for research purposes
    • More than 3,000 patients treated each day in Lahey Hospital & Medical Center's ambulatory care center
    • Specialists in most clinical areas
    • Complete clinical services offered to serve our extensive and diverse clinical population
    • A very loyal physician and patient population
    • An excellent compliance rate of participants in our studies
    • Very low drop-out rate

    Based on these factors and our past success conducting clinical trials, we do not anticipate any problems recruiting patients for clinical trials for a wide variety of neurological disorders. 

    Tertiary Services 

    Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is unique amongst research facilities. We provide numerous in-house specialized tertiary services in addition to laboratory, radiological, and basic clinical resources. We know that accessibility for both patients and study sponsors is essential in providing the best possible environment for the entire research process.

    Lahey Institutional Review Board (IRB) 

    All research activity conducted at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is monitored by the hospital's Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure the safety of study participants. The Lahey Hospital & Medical Center IRB is composed of Lahey colleagues and lay community members. The board typically meets monthly but also convenes weekly for time sensitive review. All protocols and procedures as well as consent forms are reviewed by the IRB prior to commencing the investigation and annually thereafter. All unanticipated events are reviewed by the IRB, and all changes to the protocols or the consent forms must be approved by the board.

    Staff Training/Education  

    Neurology investigators, study coordinators and clinical research associates attend comprehensive training. Training involves review of proper management of clinical studies, Good Clinical Practice (GCP's), participant safety, maintenance of study data, regulatory forms, completion of case report forms (CRF's) and research quality assurance. All investigators and research staff participating in clinical trials must complete a research study session that includes Lahey-sponsored education and the CITI Research program with certification renewals every three years. The lead of the neurology research department is certified by the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) as a Certified Clinical Research Professional and all staff are encouraged to attend workshops and training as part of continual education. 

    Neurology Department 

    Lahey Hospital & Medical Center's Neurology Department provides an excellent clinical environment to conduct research investigations. The department has more than 15 exam rooms, and one or more of the rooms can be reserved for research visits. The department has a large, friendly and comfortable waiting area where receptionists greet patients. All components of the study are conducted in the department, and, in the event other services are required (laboratory, radiology, etc.), they are usually available the same day at that location, reducing the need for repeat visits.

    In addition to treating patients at our Burlington, Lexington and Peabody campuses, the Neurology Department sees patients at Children’s Hospital in Boston, Cape Ann Medical Center in Gloucester, and New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Woburn, Mass.

    Disorders Treated: 

    Support Services

    Neurology Research Associates Sharmeen Alam, MA and Caitlin ScopaWith the increasing demand for research opportunities, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center realized the inherent need to create one centralized office comprised of professional medical staff solely dedicated to clinical trials. In 1994, The Office of Research Administration (ORA) was established. The ORA continues expansion into widening areas of medical research. Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is deeply concerned with safeguarding the rights and welfare of all those who participate as subjects in research projects by requiring that the research projects be reviewed and approved by the IRB. 

    Investigational Pharmacy 

    Cynthia Carter, MBA, RPh, Investigational PharmacistLahey Hospital & Medical Center has a dedicated investigational pharmacy staffed by two registered pharmacists. The investigational pharmacy monitors and maintains all study drugs and medications.

    The pharmacists participate in the investigational study process from the initial start-up phase through the duration of the clinical trial. All study drugs are shipped directly to the investigational pharmacy, and the pharmacists maintain all receipt and dispensing logs.  The investigational pharmacists are an additional resource on research study drug questions, including side effects, concomitant medications and potential adverse events. 


    The Laboratory Department is concerned with supporting patient care activities through the provision of accurate and timely clinical laboratory information on blood, body fluids and other specimens, as well as providing consultation to the staff.  Department sections include Phlebotomy, Immunology, Andrology, Hematology, Chemistry, Special Chemistry, Microbiology and tBlood Bank.

    Lab Support Services, Deborah Atlas, MT; Elaine Weiner and Carol HerbertSupport services are provided by Information Systems, Specimen Processing and Client Services. The IATA (International Air Transport Association) has specific guidelines for handling and transportation of dangerous goods/hazardous substances. All personnel handling these substances require certification.  Several members of the Laboratory involved with research study specimen packaging, labeling and shipping are IATA certified.  



    Nuclear Medicine 

    Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is one of two facilities in the area that has a GE Discovery Series 64-slice, hybrid positron emission technology (PET) and computerized tomography (CT) scanner. Our comprehensive PET/CT program is ACR accredited and is able to provide patients with the highest quality diagnostic PET/CT services currently available.

    Our full service program offers PET/CT scanning for the following Neurological indications: Alzheimer's, frontal temporal dementia, cognitive impairment, refractory seizures for preoperative evaluation.   

    Diagnostic Neuroradiology  

    The Department of Diagnostic Radiology offers a full range of diagnostic imaging techniques and interventional services. The department maintains ongoing research partnerships with several high technology companies for the development of systems that apply computer technology to imaging processes. Consultations regarding individual cases are encouraged.

    Neuroradiology is a subspecialty of Lahey's Department of Diagnostic Radiology that is devoted to the imaging of the central nervous system (the brain and spine) and the head and neck. Imaging modalities used in neuroradiology include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT scan, diagnostic angiography and myelography. 

    Neurological research helps to further our understanding of neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, and epilepsy, amongst other diseases and disorders.   To support the Neurology Department contact the Philanthropy Office at (781) 744-3333 or donate online


    To learn more about research studies in Neurology at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, please reach out to our clinical research contact:

    Nicholas Ventura 

    Lahey Hospital & Medical Center
    31 Mall Road
    Burlington, MA 01805
    Phone: 781-744-3216

    Email: Nicholas.F.Ventura@lahey.org



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