The Future of Research – Martin Paukert, M.D.
Martin Paukert, M.D., is on the cutting edge of working with cells that have long been under-appreciated, yet could play a role in our ability to pay attention and help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease or eventually prevent onset of the disease.
Dr. Paukert, who joined the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine in December 2013, has an eight-person lab focusing on astroglia cells and how they interact with neurons in the brain. He was awarded a five-year, $2 million grant from the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation in 2015.
Most people have heard of neurons, which are the electrically active cells of the brain, but few are familiar with glial cells. “Substantial methods for studying electrical activity in neurons have been available for more than half a century; in contrast, optical and genetic means applicable to studies of glial cell function have rapidly emerged only during the recent decade,” said Dr. Paukert, assistant professor in the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology.