Professor Rustam Al-Shahi Salman is professor of clinical neurology at the University of Edinburgh and an honorary consultant neurologist in NHS Lothian. His Research to Understand Stroke due to Haemorrhage (RUSH) programme focuses on the deadliest type of stroke known as brain haemorrhage, which is caused by spontaneous bleeding from blood vessels into the brain. Each year this disease affects about 2 million adults worldwide, 10,000 of whom are in the UK. RUSH is dedicated to better understanding the causes and consequences of brain haemorrhage, and to design randomised controlled trials to improve its outcome. Professor Salman’s inaugural lecture will describe a doctor’s quest to achieve these simple objectives in the complex world of medical research.