Department of Neurology

Creutzfeldt Lab

Our research focusses on better understanding the needs of people affected by severe acute brain injury and developing interventions to improve their healthcare experience and quality of life.

Lab Members

Principal Investigator: Claire J. Creutzfeldt, MD
Research coordinators: Danielle Bendicksen, PA-C and Nick Ensroth 
Research collaborators, fellows, mentees:
Present: Bre Taylor, MD, Whitney Kiker, MD, Kris Hendershot, MD, Nauzley Abedini, MD, Wesley Plinke, MD
Past: Chinwe Ibeh, MD, Rachel Rutz Voumard, MD


We are very grateful to our funders and those who support our research. Our current projects within the Creutzfeldt Lab include:

National Institutes of Nursing Research (NINR)
05/12/2021 – 03/31/2026: R01 NR019268: “Comprehensive Outcome Assessment after Severe Acute Brain Injury: Advanced Symptoms and End-of-Life Care Needs”

PI: Claire J. Creutzfeldt, University of Washington; Darin B. Zahuranec, University of Michigan 
This prospective, longitudinal, mixed-methods cohort study follows patients with severe acute brain injury and their families from initial hospitalization until death or up to one year with the aim to define the trajectory and determinants of multidimensional symptoms and quality of end of life among patients with SABI and their family members. 

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
8/1/2017-7/31/2022: K23 NS099421 “Navigating Patients and Families through the Neuro-ICU”

PI: Claire J. Creutzfeldt, University of Washington
The goal of this research was to (1) identify those patients and families in our neuro-intensive care unit, who were at high risk of developing a poor outcome. Poor outcome included low satisfaction with care and decisions in the ICU, low scores on psychological, social and well-being assessments and high costs of care; (2) to identify elements to improve outcome through early interventions; (3) to pilot a support intervention in the neuro-ICU.

Cambia Health Foundation     
07/17-06/19: Quality Metrics for Primary and Specialty Palliative Care

PI: J. Randall Curtis, Ruth Engelberg, Helene Starks
This grant provided funding to develop and implement a quality metrics program at UW Medicine to assess and improve the quality of palliative care. Dr. Creutzfeldt’s role was as a collaborator, assisting the program with the use of a clinician-based checklist to improve the quality of primary palliative care in the neuro-ICU. 

Cambia Health Foundation      
/15 – 07/17: Sojourns Palliative Care Leadership Award: Neuropalliative Care

PI: Claire J. Creutzfeldt, University of Washington
This leadership award allowed me to (1) receive in-depth clinical palliative care trying through a Palliative Care ‘mini-fellowship’ at Harborview Medical Center and by completing the Postgraduate Clinical Certificate in Palliative Care at the University of Washington; (2) build my research program with a focus on Palliative care needs in the Neuro-ICU; (3) building national collaboration with clinicians and researchers interested in moving the field of Neuropalliative care forward.