The University of Chicago Medicine

Recognized as Center of Excellence on 10/26/2016, Public Announcement

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Phone: (773) 702-2123

Address: Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine, 5758 South Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637

Number of CCM outpatient appointments annually: ~120

Number of CCM inpatient days annually: ~75

Number of CCM research publications 2011-2016: 26

Patients may also be seen at Evanston Hospital (NorthShore University Health System)


Medical Director and Cerebrovascular Neurosurgeon:  Issam Awad, MD, MSc, FACS 

Issam Awad, MD, MSc, FACS is a John Harper Seeley Professor of Neurosurgery and director of  Neurovascular Surgery at the University of Chicago. He is a past Chairman of the Cerebrovascular Section of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the 51st President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Awad is a leading cavernous angioma researcher and co-editor of the text Cavernous Malformations. As founding Chairman of the Angioma Alliance Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Awad provides us with expertise and guidance to effectively facilitate and push the limits of CCM Science.  

Adult Neurology:  James Brorson, MD

Epileptologist: James Tao, MD

Pediatric Neurologist:  Chalongchai Phitsanuwong, MD

Geneticist:  Darrel Waggoner, MD

Neuroradiology:  Gregory Christoforidis, MD

Nurse Coordinator:  Kristina Piedad, RN


Summary of University of Chicago Research Program

Issam A. Awad, MD, has led research studies on CCM for nearly three decades. His work helped identify the early natural history and gene loci of CCM, including the discovery of the Common Hispanic CCM1 mutation and more recently the Ashkenazi Jewish CCM2 mutation. He discovered the immune response in CCM lesions, genetic aberrations in lesions themselves, and signaling targets for potential treatment of the disease.

Awad and his research team are currently funded by the National Institutes of Health to study the biology and clinical behavior of CCM. They are developing biomarkers of CCM disease on imaging, including permeability or “subtle leakage” in lesions and brain, and quantitative susceptibility mapping of iron levels in lesions. Their team is also helping to develop blood tests that may predict CCM lesion activity. These studies are aimed at the prediction of lesion behavior and the innovation of drugs that halt lesion development. Finally, they will be leading the first clinical trial for cavernous angioma symptomatic hemorrhage. The atorvastatin EPOC trial will begin recruiting late Summer, 2018. Details can be found on Clinicaltrials.gov

Many patients participate in CCM research by allowing the team to analyze the data collected during their enhanced MRI scans. This information is used to discover more about the origin and behavior of each CCM lesion and contributes to the ongoing development of new CCM management strategies. Patients may give blood samples for biomarker research or donate samples of a lesion resected at surgery for research studies. All research involving human subjects is totally voluntary and does not otherwise influence the highest level of clinical care delivered to each patient regardless of participation in research. Research ensures utmost privacy and does not incur patients any additional cost beyond their routine clinical care. Each project is approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Chicago Medicine.