URI professor leading ground-breaking research into Alzheimer’s disease

SOUTH KINGSTOWN — In science, it is sometimes the contrarian who advances knowledge. Thus it was for Paula Grammas, whose early, unconventional research into Alzheimer’s disease kept her an outlier for many years. The skeptics all but howled. She remembers the day when she presented the results of her novel experiments involving blood vessels at an international conference. “Everyone was, like, ‘Go away, little girl,’ ” she says. No more. Her ground-breaking studies of the role the vascular system plays in Alzheimer’s so impressed the University of Rhode Island that it recruited her to be the inaugural director of the new George and Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience, established with a $15-million gift from former CVS Health chairman and CEO Thomas M. Ryan, a URI graduate who is not known…


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