Principal Speaker- 2018
Huda Y. Zoghbi, MD
Professor, Baylor College of Medicine
Huda Y. Zoghbi, MD, is a professor of pediatrics, molecular and human genetics, neurology, and neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Zoghbi has earned election to the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine, is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and directs the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital. In 2016, Dr. Zoghbi was awarded the prestigious Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.
Dr. Zoghbi’s career took an unexpected turn in the 1980s when, as a neurology resident, she encountered a young girl with Rett syndrome, which had recently been described in a report in Annals of Neurology and named for Andreas Rett, an early researcher of the disorder. Frustrated by the limited relief she could provide to Rett patients and their families at that time, Dr. Zoghbi sought to understand the cause of Rett syndrome and other rare neurological disorders. Sixteen years after Dr. Zoghbi first met the Rett syndrome patient, her lab identified MECP2, the gene responsible for causing the disorder. This discovery, along with her other groundbreaking discoveries in neurodegeneration, are now being used to develop better therapies for more common neurological disorders including autism, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.