Huda Zoghbi is an internationally renowned physician-scientist and a central figure in the Rett Syndrome research field. She focuses on genetic and cell biology approaches to explore neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases. Dr Zoghbi is a professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Molecular and Human Genetics, Neurology and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. She is also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI) at Texas Children's Hospital. Dr. Zoghbi began her career as a pediatric neurologist, but a chance encounter with a young child with Rett Syndrome drew her from clinical practice into the world of genetics research. She went on to discover the gene Math1 and the molecular pathology underlying spinocerebellar ataxia 1. In 1999, the Zoghbi lab identified mutations in the MECP2 gene as the cause of Rett Syndrome. Mutations in MECP2 are now being seen in some cases of childhood schizophrenia, classic autism and learning disabilities. She is a member of the National Academy of Science and the Institute of Medicine. She is also a member of the Lasker Award jury. Her many awards include the nation's most distinguished pediatric research award, the E. Mead Johnson Award for Pediatric Research; the Gruber Neuroscience Prize; the Scolnick Prize and the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize. Dr. Zoghbi studied at the American University of Beirut, Meharry Medical College and Baylor College of Medicine.
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