DULUTH, Minnesota (KBJR) -- A professor at The University of Minnesota Duluth is doing ground-breaking research in the troubling problem of Alzheimer's Disease.

Dr. Anika Hartz has received the prestigious McKnight Land-Grant Professor award, a two year research grant.

Hartz is an assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy and spends her days researching a function essential to life; the blood brain barrier.

"I think I'm fascinated by that, that as little as blood vessels can make a huge difference whether your brain is healthy or not," Hartz says.

The blood brain barrier separates the brain from the body's blood circulation.

Its main function is to supply nutrients and keep out toxins. But sometimes this system, designed to protect our bodies, can actually block life-saving drugs from reaching the brain.

That's where Hartz's research comes into play.

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