Enrique Leira MD MS


Enrique Leira MD MS specializes in Cerebrovascular Diseases and Epidemiology. He is an Associate Professor with tenure in Neurology and Epidemiology, and is the acting director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at the University of Iowa. His research focus is acute stroke management, including evidence-based strategies to improve and accelerate stroke treatment in rural areas. There is an unacceptable disparity in acute stroke practices between urban tertiary centers and those 25% patients living in rural areas. The gap will be further increased as rural patients continue to be excluded from time-dependent stroke trials due to distance/time from research centers. His research interests include novel strategies to enable participation of patients living in rural areas in acute trials testing stroke therapies, such as randomization before arrival to the University while they are being transported in a helicopter ambulance. He has pioneered the first clinical trial conducted during helicopter transportation (AIRDOC). Dr. Leira is also interested in investigating the effect of inter-hospital helicopter transport on an ischemic brain being reperfused. In order to study that issue with adequate fidelity, He has pioneered the use of animal stroke models during real helicopter flights. Dr. Leira’s research is funded by the NIH. He is the principal investigator of the University of Iowa Regional Coordinating Center of Stroke Net. He also serves in the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He currently holds leadership positions at the American Heart Association, and is vice-chair of the Vascular neurology section at the at the Academy of Neurology.