Sep
30
2014

NRI welcomes two new faculty members

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The Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI) at Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine welcomed two new faculty members, Dr. Akash Patel and Dr. Mingshan Xue.

“I am thrilled to have Dr. Patel and Dr. Xue launch their independent research careers at the NRI,” said Dr. Huda Zoghbi, founding director of the NRI. “Dr. Xue has a stellar track record and is one of the most innovative scientists that I know. Dr. Patel is one of those rare neurosurgeons who chooses to do basic research while maintaining an active neurological practice.”

Akash Patel and Mingshan Xue launch their research careers at the NRI.

Dr. Akash Patel
Patel, an assistant professor in the department of Neurosurgery at Baylor and the NRI, is a neurosurgeon who specializes in the treatment of malignant and benign tumors of the brain and skull base. His clinical interests include neuroendoscopy and minimally invasive neurosurgery, awake craniotomy and brain mapping for tumors in eloquent regions of the brain, and surgery for deep brain tumors: intraventricular, pineal, insular and brainstem.

Patel is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He earned an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Rice University. While earning his medical degree at Baylor, Patel explored his interest in genetics and basic research by working in the laboratory of Zoghbi. He continued to work under Zoghbi’s mentorship as he completed his residency in neurosurgery at Baylor and MD Anderson, and developed a passion for research.

Patel’s research focuses on determining the molecular underpinnings of inherited and sporadic forms of various brain tumors, including gliomas, meningiomas, and acoustic neuromas. He is particularly interested in studying tumors that are part of inherited tumor syndromes as a means to gain insight into more common, sporadic forms of these tumors. His ultimate goal is to help translate these findings into targeted therapies to treat common and aggressive cases.

Dr. Mingshan Xue
Xue is an assistant professor in the department of Neuroscience at Baylor. He is also a member of the Cain Foundation Laboratories and the NRI.

Xue earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. He obtained his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Baylor and completed his postdoctoral training at the University of California in San Diego.

Xue’s research explores the communication mechanisms of cortical circuits in the brain that control motor, sensory and cognitive functions, and how dysfunction and abnormal neural circuit development can contribute to the pathogenesis of neurological disorders such as autism and childhood epilepsy. Xue’s primary goal is to translate these findings into new therapeutic interventions to treat developmental disorders.

Xue is eager to begin his contribution to the NRI, saying, “The NRI offers an exciting opportunity to collaborate with world-class researchers from diverse backgrounds to improve the quality of life for patients with devastating neurological disorders.”

The NRI at Texas Children’s and Baylor is a basic research institute committed to understanding the pathogenesis of neurological diseases with the ultimate goal of developing treatments to improve the quality of life for patients.