UVA Research Team


Andrew Southerland, MD, MSc |

Principal Investigator

Andrew Mebane Southerland, MD, MSc, FAHA is an associate professor in the division of vascular neurology, departments of neurology and public health sciences at the University of Virginia Health System. Dr. Southerland received his M.D. from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University as a prestigious Brody Scholar. As a medical student, he won multiple academic awards, including the AAN Medical Student Prize for Excellence in Neurology and induction into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. Dr. Southerland completed his internship at Carolinas Medical Center, where he was named the Arnold R. Frazier Intern of the Year. He then completed his neurology residency at the University of Virginia, where he also served as chief resident. During his vascular neurology fellowship at UVA, Dr. Southerland completed a master of science degree in clinical research with UVA's department of public health sciences. As a faculty clinician, Dr. Southerland has received numerous accolades for teaching and clinical excellence, including a 2017 Bedside Manner Award from OurHealth Magazine.

Dr. Southerland is the past recipient of an early career award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) National Clinical Research Program, and currently serves on the AHA/ASA Telestroke Committee and the American Academy of Neurology Education Committee. Dr. Southerland also participated on the writing committee for the 2018 AHA/ASA Updated Guideline on the Management of Acute Ischemic Stroke. He serves as principal investigator or co-investigator for numerous stroke clinical trials. His primary research interests focus on innovative methods of prehospital stroke care, novel applications of telemedicine and telestroke, and gene by environment associations in non-atherosclerotic vasculopathies, such as cervical artery dissection and fibromuscular dysplasia.


Karen Johnston, MD, MSc |


Dr. Johnston is the Harrison Distinguished Professor and professor of public health sciences at the University of Virginia. She graduated from medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1991. She did her neurology residency at the University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital and a vascular neurology fellowship at the University of Virginia. She joined the UVA faculty in 1997 and obtained a master's degree in outcomes research and clinical investigation in 1999. She is board certified in general neurology and vascular neurology. She was the vice chair of research for the Department of Neurology prior to becoming chair and is an Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) graduate from 2006.

Dr. Johnston's research has focused on treatment and outcomes in acute ischemic stroke and she is the principle investigator on numerous NIH funded grants. She participates in numerous NIH-NINDS study sections and data safety monitoring committees and is chair of the NIH-NINDS clinical research collaboration (CRC) advisory team. She was an associate editor of the journal Neurology and the founding editor of the neurology resident and fellow section. She maintains a strong commitment to education and mentoring. She was the founding chair of the University of Virginia's Academy of Distinguished Educators and is the director of the UVA internal K12 scholars program for career development in clinical and translational research. She is currently the director of the ANA Junior Faculty Career Development Symposium, the AAN Research Career Development Symposium and the NINDS Clinical Trials Methods Course Career Development Program.

Dr. Johnston sees vascular neurology (stroke) patients and general stroke patients.


Amy Fansler, MPH |

Project Manager & Regulatory Director

Amy completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia and received an MPH from George Washington University. She has experience both in academic and industry health research with over 10 years of clinical research experience at UVA including oversight of the NIH-funded, $21 million/$25 million, multi-center ESETT and SHINE clinical trials.