Thomas Hemmen 

Thomas Hemmen, MD, PhD 

Director, UCSD Stroke Center and Clinical Chief of Adult Neurology


Contact Information

UCSD Stroke Center
East Campus Office Building, rm 3-001A
9444 Medical Center Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0979

Fax: 858-657-6788
Non-patient related matters: 858-657-7190
Patient-related matters

    Dr. Hemmen is the Director of the UC San Diego Stroke Program and Cerebrovascular Fellowship Program. He received his medical training from the Free University of Berlin, Germany. Following a medical internship at New York University Downtown Hospital, he completed a neurology residency at New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute in New York, where he served as Chief Resident. Dr. Hemmen is a board- certified neurologist and vascular neurologist. He has broad clinical expertise in neurology, cerebrovascular disease and neurological critical care.

    In 2000, he joined the UC San Diego Stroke Center for a two-year cerebrovascular fellowship. In addition, he completed a Neurological Intensive care fellowship at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Neurosciences at UC San Diego in 2004 and was since promoted to Professor in 2013.

    Dr. Hemmen is the principle investigator of various clinical trials in cerebrovascular disease investigating the use of neuroprotection and reperfusion therapies after acute ischemic stroke, as well as stroke prevention, recovery and research in intracerebral hemorrhage.

    He provides leadership and education to medical students, residents and fellows in cerebrovascular research and therapies and was instrumental in establishing UC San Diego as the first Certified Stroke Center of Excellence in San Diego County.

    He leads the cerebrovascular research and trial coordination center that conducts national and international collaborative trials, researching for new cures in all areas of cerebrovascular medicine.

    Dr. Hemmen serves as Medical Director of the UCSD Stroke Center. In this role, he is instrumental in the translation of research and clinical experience into everyday patient care and in the use of advanced therapeutics in acute stroke, after-stroke care, and stroke prevention.

    The Stroke Center has continued to attract international recognition for its team activities in San Diego, and the Clinical Trials Coordinating Center now includes three large multi-center, multi-national trials of neuroprotection in addition to the ongoing NIH funded multi-center clinical trials of hypothermia.

    In addition Dr. Hemmen is part of the UCSD Stroke Clinical Trials Coordinating Center that is one of the leading academic research organizations in North America, and has managed several large, multi-center trials of acute stroke therapy for industry and NIH.

    Dr. Hemmen continues his busy clinical practice in both the General Neurology and Stroke clinics at Hillcrest and Perlman Clinic and he attends on the neurology inpatient service at UCSD Medical Centers and the VA Hospital 4 weeks per year.

    Dr. Hemmen also covers stroke and emergency neurology responsibilities at Scripps Memorial Hospital and Alvarado Hospital, where he sees complex cerebro-vascular patients.

    My research focuses on two aspects of stroke care: 1) acute ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke therapy, with special attention to Neuroprotective and early recovery mechanisms, such LASER therapy and Hypothermia. 2) quality of medical care and outcomes related to health systems approaches. My CV lists publications pertaining to both areas.

    Regarding #1: I was Principle investigator of these concluded projects: The Combined Approach to Lysis Utilizing Eptifibatide and rt-PA in Acute Ischemic Stroke – Enhanced Regimen (CLEAR-ER), Safety of Rt-PA + Transcranial Emission of Low-Energy Lasers for Acute Stroke Recovery (StELLAR) and functioned as Sub-investigator in: MR and Recanalization of Stroke Clots Using Embolectomy (MR Rescue), Insulin Resistance Intervention after Stroke (IRIS), and Secondary Prevention of Small Subcortical Strokes Pilot Study (SPS3), The SPOT Sign for Predicting and treating ICH growth study (STOP-IT Study), and Intravascular Cooling in the Treatment of Stroke – 2/3 (ICTuS – 2/3), Hypothermia in Acute Stroke with Thrombolysis Imaging Evaluation of Revascularization (HASTIER), A Phase 2b Study of Dalfampridine 10 mg Extended Release Tablet in Subjects with Chronic Deficits After Ischemic Stroke (Study No. DALF-PS-1003, A Multicenter, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized, Parallel-group study to evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Intravenous Natalizumab (BG00002) on Reducing Infarct Volume in Acute Ischemic Stroke. I am principle investigator of this ongoing project: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Two Dose Strengths of Dalfampridine Extended Release Tablets for Treatment of Stable Walking Deficits in Post-Ischemic Stroke (MILESTONE),

    Regarding #2: I am chair of the stroke outcomes committee of the Stroke GOALS project in collaboration with an international group of Stroke Neurologist exploring the differences in health systems approaches to stroke care and how they relate to clinical outcomes. This project is relatively new and has not lead to peer reviewed publications, but Grant Applications that, if funded, will allow me to advance my interest in health systems research. The deep understanding of health systems will allow me to help transform the Department of Neurology at UCSD and advance clinical care and patient outcomes across all areas of Neurology.

    Year Award
    1999-2000 Chief Resident at the Department of Neurology and Neuroscience
    New York Presbyterian Hospital and Department of Neurology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center