Dr. Kerstin Betterman, Division Chair for Vascular & Critical Care Neurology

Kerstin Bettermann, MD, PhD is Professor of Neurology and Neurobehavioral Sciences and an expert in Vascular Neurology. She has trained in neurology, psychiatry, neurophysiology and vascular neurology at the University of Heidelberg, Munich and Duesseldorf in Germany and at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

She holds professional certifications in:

  • Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, 2004
  • Vascular Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, 2005
  • Interpretation of neuroimaging studies (MRI and CT) of the central nervous system, American Society of Neuroimaging, 2004
  • Neurosonology, American Society of Neuroimaging, 2003
  • Basic training in hyperbaric and diving medicine, Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital, University of South Carolina, 2003 and 2004

Clinical interests

Dr. Bettermann is the Chair of the Divisions of Vascular and Critical Care Neurology in the Department of Neurology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has expertise in acute stroke care, telestroke, stroke recovery and prevention. Additionally, she has a special interest in the treatment of cerebral small vessel disease such as amyloid angiopathy, CADASIL, and vascular dementia.

Research interests

Dr. Bettermann’s research is focused on acute stroke trials, the relationship between stroke and diabetes, cerebral small vessel disease and vascular dementia. She conducts clinical stroke and vascular dementia related research studies, as well as bench research.

Dr. Bettermann’s research program explores the immunological mechanisms affecting neurological outcome in diabetic stroke, and the influence of diabetes and hyperglycemia on cerebrovascular disease. Her translational research uses rodent models of diabetic stroke and studies stroke patients to identify cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to poor outcome in diabetic stroke, with the goal of leveraging these discoveries to develop interventions that can be used to improve neurological function in this high-risk population.

A second major focus of her lab is to develop biomarkers of cerebral small vessel disease that will allow for monitoring of disease progression and therapeutics, and studying targets for the treatment of vascular dementia.

She serves as scientific reviewer for the American Stroke Association, American Neurological Association and the American Academy of Neurology. She is the author of many peer-reviewed research papers, book chapters and textbooks.