Specialists on Tyneside have been chosen to lead a multimillion-pound network to increase the research being carried out into strokes.
Strokes are caused by bleeds or clots in the brain
Newcastle University has been chosen by the Department of Health to co-ordinate the UK Stroke Research Network.
The network hopes to conduct trials and studies for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of stroke.
Stroke is the third most common cause of death in the UK after heart disease and cancer.
The Department of Health is investing £20m over five years in the project.
Newcastle will work in collaboration with the universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Nottingham and Oxford.
One of the major elements of the network will be to increase the opportunities available for patients to become involved in clinical stroke research trials.
Gary Ford, director of the National Stroke Research Centre, said: "Every five minutes someone in the UK has a stroke, but only a fraction of stroke patients enter trials.
"The network offers a major opportunity to increase the participation of patients and their carers in research and to expand the number of stroke trials to develop advances in the treatment of stroke patients."