Two NRI researchers awarded prestigious research scholarships from the AAN

May 23, 2017

Drs. Hsiao-Tuan Chao and Laurie Robak, physician-scientists at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI) at Texas Children’s, received scholarship grants from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) to support studies on neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases.

Chao, a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Dr. Hugo J. Bellen was awarded the 2017 Neurology Research Training Scholarship for her proposed study titled, “Transcriptional Dysregulation of Neural Circuits in Neurodevelopmental Disorders.” Using the laboratory fruit fly and mouse, she will explore how changes in the function of master regulators of gene expression, like EBF3, can cause childhood neurologic diseases. Chao’s discoveries will provide some answers and improve the quality of life for many of these children and families.

Robak is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Joshua Shulman. She was awarded the 2017 Clinical Research Training Fellowship in Parkinson’s Disease for her proposal titled, “Elucidating Genetic Links Between Lysosomal Storage Disorders and Parkinson’s Disease.” Her study will identify lysosomal storage disorder genes as risk factors for Parkinson’s Disease, which will hopefully lead to improved diagnosis and risk assessment, and development of novel therapeutic strategies.

Twenty award winners, including Drs. Chao and Robak, were recognized at the 69th Annual Meeting of AAN, the world’s largest association of neurologists in April.

Click here for more information about their proposed research studies.