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STAIR®  Consensus Conferences


Stroke Treatment Academic Industry Roundtable


"The STAIR Model is unique not only to stroke but to all of medicine, science and technology."

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About the STAIR Model

We created the STAIR Model in 1998 to bring new solutions to the acute stroke treatment field which was plagued by relentless clinical trials failures of promising stroke treatments. Our intent was to develop a new approach that would identify barriers impeding successful trials and then establish multi-disciplinary, cross-cutting collaborations of public and private sector experts to share their knowledge and achieve consensus on strategies intended to surmount impediments which were limiting positive stroke research outcomes.


 2023 Sponsors


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"By all measures, STAIR has been very successful in achieving its goals."

All STAIR participants are invited to engage in the STAIR collaborative process to produce consensus recommendations which are refined and then published.

"STAIR blends these elements to rapidly expand knowledge, create solutions and accelerate their broad distribution, adoption and application."

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We now refer to this as the STAIR Model. At its core is a novel hybrid methodology which markedly accelerates the acquisition, concordance, dissemination and adoption of new knowledge in a given field of research and practice - in this case acute stroke treatment.

The STAIR Model integrates:

  • The best attributes of international professional interactive conferences

  • A multi-sector, broad-based development of and consensus on new solutions which advance the field

  • The evidence-based authority, impact and dissemination of peer-reviewed scientific literature.

STAIR Architecture 

STAIR is a by-invitation-only, two-day, highly structured, curated and facilitated conference of approximately 150 participants who represent the top tier of global experts and authorities in the field from the three targeted sectors.  Researchers, regulators and business scientists/executives have gathered from over 30 nations to participate in STAIR since its inception.

STAIR includes the major “stakeholder” sectors in stroke research:

  • Academia Multi-disciplinary, international thought-leader research physicians as well as statisticians and others from leading academic medical centers who conduct important stroke research

  • Industry Scientists and top executives from private sector pharmaceutical, device and imaging companies that conduct research and develop stroke treatment diagnostics, medications and devices

  • Government NIH and FDA executive managers, physicians and scientists responsible for stroke research and drug and device regulation

The STAIR Conference

  • STAIR Day One comprises sessions incorporating more than 20 presentations of the latest important research study designs, analysis, novel elements and outcomes - followed by extended discussions incorporating presenters, other stroke experts and the audience. These sessions provide participants with a common background and understanding of current best practice and innovative approaches being applied within stroke research and development. This helps inform and prepare participants for the following day’s consensus group discussions and deliberations.

STAIR's Impact on Stroke

  • All participants from academia, industry and government are provided equal opportunity to participate in a facilitated discussion process, during which recommendations developed by leading academic thought leaders in stroke are presented, openly discussed and may be amended, expanded, replaced and refined by the group

  • Each of the three content groups then presents the recommendations they developed to the entire conference assemblage

  • Writing committees flesh out, expand and refine the recommendations into a draft manuscript

  • Draft manuscripts are circulated to all STAIR participants and their critiques and comments are collected

  • The writing committees incorporate appropriate and helpful comments into the manuscript

  • Final manuscripts are circulated to participants who are provided an opportunity to be listed as contributors 

  • Manuscripts are submitted to and published in the journal Stroke

  • STAIR Day Two initiates the STAIR Consensus Process to develop STAIR Recommendations 

Consensus Development Process

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The following year we convened a conference of stroke research leaders from academia and industry to constitute the first Stroke Treatment Academic Industry Roundtable - STAIR.

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STAIR has produced close to 20 publications containing consensus recommendations which have become the pillars of and established standards for stroke research. All STAIR manuscripts have appeared in Stroke, the most prestigious medical journal in the field, published by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

  • STAIR manuscripts cover every aspect of conducting stroke research from the bench to the clinic including planning, executing and analyzing stroke trials.

  • “STAIR Standards” as they are often called, are employed by both the academic and commercial research communities to inform and guide their efforts.

  • STAIR manuscripts are among the most frequently cited references of all stroke research publications.

  • Government researchers, regulators and administrators use STAIR Consensus Conferences to interact with the stroke research community of investigators and sponsors for insights on how aspects of regulatory and scientific policy are being applied and guiding stroke R&D. These same federal researchers and regulators provide input in designing STAIR programs and producing STAIR publications.

  • STAIR serves as an intimate forum wherein physicians, other scientists and research executives across disciplines and sectors may openly, collegially and on equal footing, interact to question, discuss and reach consensus on solutions to the most challenging and compelling stroke R&D issues.  

  • STAIR has a broad constituency of neurologists, interventional neuroradiologists, emergency medicine physicians, statisticians, clinical trialist professionals, neuro-nurses and many others from academic, industry and government settings throughout the world who look to STAIR to advance the art and science of conducting stroke research.

  • STAIR participants routinely credit STAIR as being the most anticipated, valuable conference and science advancement vehicle in the entire stroke space. STAIR is widely recognized as demonstrably accelerating the energy, effort and positive results of the stroke research and treatment community.

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STAIR Background and History

The first STAIR conference was conducted in 1999. STAIR conferences have been convened approximately every two years since they were initiated. The Stroke Treatment and Academic Roundtable (STAIR) concept to assemble industry, academia and government experts was conceived in 1998 by Dr. Marc Fisher and Gary Houser.  Dr. Fisher is Professor of Neurology and Radiology at University of Massachusetts Medical School where he has specialized in stroke treatment and rehab as well as testing and development of pharmaceutical agents aimed at remediating stroke. 

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Gary Houser

Dr. Fisher served as STAIR Conferences Chairman for STAIR conferences I-VI at which time he accepted the appointment of Editor-in-Chief of the journal Stroke and passed the STAIR chairmanship on to Dr. Greg Albers. 

Dr. Albers is director of the Stanford Stroke Center and Coyote Foundation Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford School of Medicine. Dr. Albers chaired STAIRS VII-X and continues as STAIR Conferences Chairman.

Mr. Houser has organized and managed all STAIR conferences. He is the co-founder of the National Stroke Association and President of The Stroke Group which assists organizations in the stroke treatment arena.

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STAIR Funding and Support

STAIR receives no government funding. Financial support for STAIR conferences is provided solely by participating private sector companies which underwrite and sponsor the conferences. 

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Contact STAIR Coordinator

We invite you to contact us if your organization may be interested in sponsoring and participating in an upcoming STAIR Consensus Conference.

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