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

um disorder that leads seemingly healthy female toddlers to avoid eye contact, cease talking, engage in obsessive behaviors (such as constant hand-wringing), and develop other devastating symptoms. Until then, scientists were not sure this disorder was genetic. Further research by Zoghbi has uncovered much more about MECP2 mutations, including the finding that doubling levels of MECP2 can cause a host of neuropsychiatric features. These discoveries opened exciting new approaches to the study of autism and other psychiatric disorders.

Zoghbi's lab also identified Math1, a gene central to the formation of hair cells in the inner ear, which may lead to more effective treatments for certain types of deafness – especially age-related deafness and vestibular problems. Zoghbi and her team have also discovered that continuous activation of Math1 can cause granule cells in mice hindbrains to grow nonstop, which may be relevant to treating a common childhood brain tumor called medulloblastoma, and open up a new pathway for therapy in cancer.

The full release with Prize citation, other media materials, and additional background information on the Gruber Prizes can be found at our online newsroom: www.gruberprizes.org/Press.php.US Media Contact:

Foundation Contact:Cassandra Oryl

Bernetia Akin+1 (202) 309-2263

+1 (340) 775-4430pr@lunchboxcity.com

media@gruberprizes.org
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SOURCE The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation
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