Our lab investigates mechanisms underlying cerebrovascular diseases and vascular cognitive impairment using multimodal human brain imaging, peripheral blood sampling, and formal cognitive assessment.  

The lab’s focus is on rare, monogenic microvasculopathies such as sickle cell anemia, RVCL-S, and CADASIL, to investigate disease mechanisms and find novel therapeutic targets.  By mapping out disease pathways for rare, inherited cerebrovascular diseases, we hope to move the field closer to finding treatments and preventative therapies for more common cerebrovascular disorders such as acute ischemic stroke and sporadic cerebral small vessel disease, which are often heterogeneous and progress more slowly.

2023 Ford lab team

With generous support…

Our lab is supported through grants funded by the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (RF1 NS116565, UF1NS125512) as well as by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R01HL129241).

Andria L. Ford, MD, MSCI

Principal investigator

Ford specializes in stroke in the young adult population, neurological complications of sickle cell disease, inherited small vessel diseases including RVCL-S and CADASIL, as well as sporadic cerebral small vessel disease and vascular dementia.

She cares for stroke patients at Barnes Jewish Hospital and the Outpatient Stroke Center at Washington University School of Medicine. She is chief of the stroke section at Washington University’s Department of Neurology. 

Ford leads an NIH-funded research program with a goal to understand and find new treatments and prevention strategies for patients with inherited and sporadic cerebral small vessel diseases. She also directs the Stroke Patient Access Core (SPAC) overseeing participant enrollment into numerous clinical stroke trials conducted at Washington University School of Medicine.

Banner image description: Infarct density map from 286 children with sickle cell anemia and silent cerebral infarcts in the Silent Infarct Transfusion Trial.  Infarct density was calculated as the sum of participants with a lesion in the voxel divided by the total number of participants. Infarcts occur in the deep white matter where cerebral blood flow is at a nadir.