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Robia Pautler, Ph.D.


Robia Pautler, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Baylor College of Medicine, recipient of a 2007 New Investigator Research Grant

In her own words, investigator Dr. Robia Paulter, describes her research and what receiving Association funding has meant to her career.

Research focus


Funding from the Alzheimer's Association has helped advance my career in Alzheimer's disease research on multiple fronts. First, funding from the Alzheimer's Association has allowed us to determine that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to detect the accumulation of gangliosides (a type of lipid associated with beta-amyloid) before the symptoms and behavioral changes of the disease develop. A paper describing the results of this work was accepted for publication in the journal Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, and the Alzheimer's Association is gratefully acknowledged. Second, funding from the Association has allowed us to test new MRI contrast agents aimed at detecting the accumulation of protein and lipids in the brain, as well as molecules called ‘reactive oxygen species' that include free radicals and microglia, cells that normally protect neurons but that may malfunction in Alzheimer's.

Impact of Association funding

"Funding from the Alzheimer's Association has allowed us to determine that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to detect the accumulation of gangliosides (a type of lipid associated with beta-amyloid) before the symptoms and behavioral changes of the disease develop."

Productive collaborations


Support from the Alzheimer's Association has also advanced my career through facilitation of collaborations and interactions with other scientists. For example, funding from the Alzheimer's Association to Dr. Eric Klann helped foster a collaboration between my lab and Dr. Klann's lab at New York University. As a result, we co-mentored a post-doctoral researcher whose findings will appear in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Additionally, the findings from our collaboration helped this young post-doc obtain independent research funding, which she will use as a springboard to launch her own career.

I've also benefited from my local Alzheimer's Association chapter in Houston and the Association's national office, which have helped introduce me to many other scientists as well as members of the public. This combination of scientific and lay perspectives has had a tremendous impact on me professionally and personally.

More than words can say, I am extremely grateful to the Alzheimer's Association for its grant support, the introduction to many other scientists and members of the public, and for helping facilitate productive collaborations.