UT System Rising STARs award to advance Alzheimer’s and neurodegenerative diseases research in South Texas

Margaret Flanagan, MD, associate professor/clinical in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) received a Rising STARs (Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention) $100,000 award from The University of Texas Board of Regents to advance research relating to Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Flanagan, who is also the Endowed Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio’s Distinguished Chair in Alzheimer and Neurodegenerative Diseases at the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neuogenerative Diseases, is also the Neuopathology Core co-leader for the National Institute on Aging-designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, one of 33 centers nationally and the only one in Texas and co-director of the UT Health San Antonio Brain Bank housed at the Biggs Institute.

“The UT System Rising STARs award will provide my lab with the technology needed to maximize the Flanagan lab’s impact on training, research enhancement and educational outreach,” said Flanagan. “And to ensure a sustainable and progressive contribution to neuropathological studies locally in San Antonio.”

Flanagan readily admits that one of the reasons she selected UT Health San Antonio to pursue her research career was the exceptional leadership of Sudha Seshadri, MD, professor of neurology and founding director of the Biggs Institute. “Dr. Seshadri’s renowned expertise and pioneering work in neurology not only underscores the institution’s dedication to excellence but also mirrors my professional journey,” Flanagan said. “Similarly, the Biggs Institute’s strong epidemiologic focus aligns perfectly with my background and interests, particularly my involvement with seminal research projects like the Nun Study and the Honolulu Asia Aging Study. These studies have allowed me to delve deep into the correlation between brain autopsy findings and various risk factors and clinical profiles.”

The UT System created The UT System STARs awards program in 2004 to attract and retain promising research-active faculty members at UT institutions across Texas.

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