Susan "Bess" Frost, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at UT Health San Antonio, is the recipient of the TAMEST 2020 Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Medicine for her work changing the way we look at Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Frost is also a faculty investigator with the university's Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's and Neurodegenerative diseases.
Instead of focusing on how to cure the disease, as is the focus of most Alzheimer's research, Dr. Frost's team looked at what causes the disease--a buildup of tau proteins inside of cells and amyloid plaques outside of it, which disrupts and eventually kills brain cell function. In doing so, her team was able to identify targets that can mitigate the spread of toxic proteins in the brain.