Executive Director of URI’s Ryan Institute receives prestigious honor from national science peers

Paula Grammas named fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science

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Paula Grammas
Paula Grammas. Photo by Nora Lewis

KINGSTON, R.I., — January 23, 2018 — Paula Grammas, executive director of the University of Rhode Island’s George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience, has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in recognition of her pioneering research into neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Grammas is part of a prestigious group of scientists, including five Nobel Laureates, selected as 2017 Fellows for “their contributions to science and technology, scientific leadership and extraordinary achievements across disciplines.” She is being recognized “for services to neuroscience, particularly in developing a novel approach to understanding the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease and explaining research to the community,” according to the award letter from Rush D. Holt, chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Association’s publication, “Science.” Grammas is best known for her research into the role that blood vessels and inflammation play in the development of neurodegenerative diseases.

“I am honored to be recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which has been a force for good in supporting the work of scientists and fostering innovation and collaboration among scientists, engineers and educators around the globe,” Grammas said. “This acknowledgement is particularly meaningful coming from my peers.”

Founded in 1848, the Association is the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society. Past Fellows include inventor Thomas Edison, anthropologist Margaret Mead and astronomer Maria Mitchell.

A former professor of neurology and holder of the Mildred and Shirley Garrison Chair in Aging at the Texas Tech School of Medicine, Grammas has received numerous awards for her research. She has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on more than $26 million in research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and other agencies and foundations.

She has published more than 143 peer-reviewed research papers and is the recipient of the Zenith Award from the Alzheimer’s Association in recognition of her accomplishments as one of the nation’s leading researchers on Alzheimer’s disease.

Grammas served as director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Neuroscience and held the Presbyterian Health Foundation Endowed Chair in Neuroscience at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She earned a doctorate in pathology from Wayne State University, a master’s degree from New York Medical College and a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College.

She will be recognized in February during the Fellows Forum at the Association’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas.