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Huda Y. Zoghbi, MD, Receives $500,000 Gruber Neuroscience Prize
Date:6/15/2011

NEW YORK, June 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Huda Y. Zoghbi, MD, will receive the 2011 Neuroscience Prize of The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation for her pioneering work in unlocking genetic and molecular mysteries behind a number of devastating neurological disorders, including Rett syndrome, spinocerebellar ataxia type 1, and brain tumors called medulloblastomas. Her contributions have also greatly advanced our scientific understanding of autism, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

Zoghbi, 56, is a professor of pediatrics, molecular and human genetics, neurology, and neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She is also director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Her work has inspired many researchers in the broad field of neurological disorders, and serves as an exemplar of how complex brain disorders can be better understood through basic genetics and molecular neuroscience.

She will receive the award November 13 in Washington D.C. at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and will deliver a lecture titled "Rett syndrome: Linking Epigenetics and Neuronal Plasticity."

Zoghbi began her career as a clinical pediatric neurologist, and much of her research has evolved from her early experiences with patients with rare neurological disorders. Her first major research breakthrough occurred in 1993 when she co-discovered a mutation in the gene ATXN1 that is responsible for spinocerebellar ataxia type 1, a deadly neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a progressive loss of movement. Scientists have subsequently related the discovery to other brain disorders, such as Huntington's, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases.

Professor Zoghbi is perhaps best known for her lab's 1999 identification of a mutation in the gene MECP2 that causes Rett syndrome, an autism spectr
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SOURCE The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation
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