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Dr. Huda Zoghbi, Distinguished Service Professor at Baylor College of Medicine

Penn's Institute for Regenerative Medicine has awarded the second Elaine Redding Brinster Prize in Science or Medicine to Huda Zoghbi for her research into how gene expression affects neurological health.

The prize, which is awarded to a researcher's discovery that made "a unique impact on biomedicine," awards the winner $100,000, a medal, and an opportunity to present a lecture on campus. Zoghbi will accept the award on March 15, 2023, as part of the Ralph L. Brinster Symposium.

"I am deeply honored and humbled to be recognized with the Elaine Redding Brinster Prize for research that was inspired by my patients. For me, it is also very special to be part of the Ralph Brinster Symposium as my research benefited immensely from technologies developed by Professor Brinster,” Zoghbi told Penn Medicine.

Zoghbi, a professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, researches the genetics behind Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder that affects how the brain functions after birth.

“It was an exceptional path from [clinical work] to revealing how mutations in a methyl-DNA binding protein cause Rett's syndrome and how expansion of DNA repeat sequences cause spinocerebellar ataxia 1,” Ken Zaret, director of the IRM, said in an IRM press release.

Zoghbi has received multiple awards in the past for her research. Her previous awards include the Kavli Prize for Neuroscience, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Canada Gairdner International Award, and the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology. She is also a member of the United States National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences. 

Zoghbi is also the current and founding director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.