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Dorothy Kozlowski, associate professor of biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

DePaul University is home to excellent academic scientists who are doing cutting-edge research that address real-world problems — and biology professor Dorothy Kozlowski is one of them. Currently, she’s studying traumatic brain injuries — injuries just like the ones road side bombs inflict on soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. Department of Defense is funding the groundbreaking research, which has clinical implications for the thousands of traumatic brain-injured war veterans who are currently rehabilitated using techniques developed for stroke patients.

“We’re showing that the way the brain recovers and reorganizes after a traumatic brain injury is very different from that following a stroke,” explains Kozlowski. “So rehabilitating someone with traumatic brain injury in the same way that you rehabilitate a stroke patient may not be appropriate.”

When she interviewed for her faculty position in 2000, Kozlowski was a little apprehensive that because DePaul is primarily a teaching university her research might be pushed off to the side. But DePaul has been very supportive, enabling her to continue her research on brain injuries and gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease patients that she started elsewhere. “DePaul has been wonderful in providing me with internal grants that have allowed me to collect the preliminary data I need to make successful external grant applications,” she says. “DePaul is equally wonderful in the different ways it supports student research.”

Kozlowski points at the new Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Science Building and scholarship and programmatic support as evidence of DePaul’s commitment to science education. As a result of that support, many undergraduate and graduate students are able to participate in clinically relevant research projects. “Many of my students have gone on to study medicine or further pursue Ph.D. work,” she says.

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