Chelsea S. Kidwell, MD

Personal Information
Professor of Neurology and Medical Imaging
Vice Chair of Research, Department of Neurology
(520) 626-2006

Chelsea S. Kidwell, MD, is a neurologist who specializes in prevention and treatment of stroke. She has special interests in medical imaging and stroke as well as ethnic and racial disparities among stroke patients. She has maintained funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1999.

Prior to joining the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson in 2013 as professor of Neurology and Medical Imaging and vice chair of research in the Department of Neurology, Dr. Kidwell was a faculty member since 2005 at Georgetown University, where she continues to serve as an adjunct professor. She also was on the faculty at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) from 1996-2008.


Diplomate, National Board of Medical Examiners, 04/14/1993
Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Parts I and II, 02/01/1998
Recertification 2009, Expiration 12/31/2019
Certification in Neurosonology, American Society of Neuroimaging, 1998
Certification in Vascular Neurology Training, 06/2006


B.S.: Duke University, Durham, NC, 1986
  Major: Psychology

M.D.: University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, 1992

Internship: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Dept. of Internal Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, 1992-1993
Residency: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Dept. of Neurology, Los Angeles, CA, 1993-1996
Cerebrovascular Disease Fellowship: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Dept. of Neurology, Los Angeles,CA, (under directorship of Jeffrey L. Saver, MD),1996-1998


American Academy of Neurology, 1994-present
American Heart Association / American Stroke Association, Stroke Council Fellow, 1997-
National Stroke Association, 1997-present
American Society of Neuroimaging, 1997-present
American Neurological Association, 2006-present
Goddess Foundation, Medical Advisory Board, 2003-present

Leslie Ritter, PhD, RN

Personal Information
Professor of Neurology and Nursing
William M. Feinberg Endowed Chair for Stroke Research
(520) 626-7683

Leslie Ritter, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN, professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing and the Department of Neurology, and the William M. Feinberg Endowed Chair for Stroke Research at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, is a Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA).

Dr. Ritter conducts innovative research on how inflammation interferes with recovery after stroke. Her research team was the first to identify a significant, early inflammatory response in the small blood vessels of the brain after stroke. As a result of these pioneering findings, in 2000 she received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on young professionals at the outset of their independent research careers.

Since then, Dr. Ritter and her multidisciplinary research team have investigated ways to decrease inflammatory damage after stroke, especially in people with conditions that may worsen the inflammation, such as diabetes.

In addition to her research efforts, Dr. Ritter serves as the faculty coordinator of the Primary Stroke Center at Banner - University Medical Center Tucson. Passionate about teaching others about stroke research, Dr. Ritter mentors undergraduate and graduate students in nursing, neurosciences, physiology and medicine. She also educates the public about stroke.

Dr. Ritter founded and continues to facilitate stroke survivor and caregiver support groups in Green Valley, Ariz. She also is an active participant in state legislative initiatives that aim to ensure the highest standard of stroke care for the citizens of Arizona.

Dr. Ritter received both her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the UA College of Nursing, and also holds a master's degree in exercise and sports sciences and a doctorate in physiological sciences from the UA.

Kendra Drake, MD

Personal Information
Assistant Professor, Neurology; Medical Director, University Medical Center Primary Stroke Center
(520) 626-2006

Dr. Kendra Drake is an associate professor of clinical neurology and co-medical director of the Primary Stroke Center at the University of Arizona. She also serves as program director of the Neurology Residency Program. She is a member of the American Stroke Association, American Epilepsy Society, and American Academy of Neurology and is the author of several peer-reviewed journal publications. Dr. Drake is currently the principal investigator of several ongoing clinical trials at the University of Arizona and regularly participates in community outreach programs to educate the Tucson community on the importance of stroke prevention and early recognition as well as the prevalence of epilepsy and associated signs and symptoms.

Dr. Drake is certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.


Dr. Drake’s research interests include:

1) understanding ethnic and racial disparities in stroke, and

2) epidemiology and novel treatments for epilepsy.


MD: University of Arkansas College of Medicine, Little Rock
Internship: Internal Medicine University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Residency: University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Fellowship: Epilepsy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Selected Publications

  • Nael K, Khan R, Choudhary G, Meshksar A, Villablanca P, Tay J, Drake K, Coull BM, Kidwell CS. Six-minute magnetic resonance imaging protocol for evaluation of acute ischemic stroke: pushing the boundaries. Stroke. 2014 Jul;45(7):1985-91.
  • Labiner DM, Drake KW. Formularies, costs, and quality of care: Formulary restrictions are not the answer, especially for epilepsy. Neurol Clin Pract. 2013 Feb;3:71-74.
  • Shah A, Korya D, Larsen BT, Torres M, Drake K, LaWall J.  Meningioangiomatosis:  a rare presentation with progressive cortical blindness.  Neurology.  2013 Jul 30;81(5):511-2.
  • Chong J, Drake K, Atkinson PB, Ouellette E, Labiner DM.  Social and family characteristics of Hispanics with epilepsy. Seizure, 21(1), 12-16.  2012.
  • Ouellette E, Chong J, Drake K, Labiner D.   Emergency department care of seizure patients: demographic trends in Southern Arizona. Epilepsy & Behavior, 21(4), 382-386.  2011.
  • Coull BM, Drake K.  Coagulation Abnormalities in Stroke. In: Stroke: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Management.  Mohr JP, ed.  2011.
  • Drake KW, Labiner DM.  Lamotrigine:  Once daily add-on therapy for epilepsy in adults experiencing partial onset seizures.  Clinical Medicine Reviews in Therapeutics, 2010  
  • Drake KW, Labiner DM.  Severe constipation associated with the use of rufinamide (Banzel) in an adolescent.  Epilepsy & Behaviour, 18:132, 2010.
  • Drake KW, Adam R.  Coccidiodal Meningitis and Brain Abscesses: Analysis of 71 cases at a referral center.  Neurology, 73(21):1780-1786, 2009.  

Bruce M. Coull, MD

Personal Information
Professor of Neurology and Medicine
University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson
(520) 694-8888
Syndicate content