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Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital Neuroscientist Dr. Huda Zoghbi Awarded Gruber Neuroscience Prize
Date:6/15/2011

overed the gene for spinocerebellar ataxia 1 in 1993 and have gone on to understand how the mutation in that gene contributes to patient symptoms.  Zoghbi has also discovered the gene for Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder that affects mainly girls, and Math1, a gene that plays a key role in functions from respiration to hearing to the development of brain tumors.

As the founding director of the NRI, a collaborative endeavor funded by Texas Children's Hospital and powered by BCM faculty, Zoghbi leads a team of researchers from diverse biological and computational backgrounds in the world's first basic research institute dedicated to childhood neurological diseases. Her vision for the NRI involves collaboration at every level—interdisciplinary, interdepartmental and inter-institutional—to increase the pace of discoveries by pioneering a multidisciplinary research approach to the complex challenges of understanding brain development and function.  

"The NRI will provide the impetus to find answers to the neurological diseases that devastate the lives of children worldwide," she said. "The NRI is the intellectual child of both institutions – Texas Children's and Baylor – and will drive neurological research in the future."

The Gruber Neuroscience Prize is a highly-coveted international research award presented annually by The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation.  The award honors scientists who have significantly advanced our understanding of the nervous system.  

The prize consists of a gold medal inscribed with the honoree's name, a citation describing her achievements and an unrestricted cash prize of $500,000. Zoghbi has chosen to give most of the award to support research at the Neurological Research Institute and Baylor College of Medicine. She will also donate some of the prize to the American University of Beirut, which Zoghbi credits for providing the foundation for a lifelong career
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