Dr. Huda Zoghbi, world-renowned neuroscientist and director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, was recently honored for her groundbreaking contributions in pediatrics, neuroscience and genetic research by the BrightFocus® Foundation and by the American Pediatric Society (APS).
The BrightFocus Foundation presented Zoghbi with the Pioneer in Genetics award at their An Evening of BrightFocus gala in Washington, D.C. that brought together more than 350 guests from the scientific, philanthropic, private and public sectors. The award recognized Zoghbi’s collaborative cross-species genetic studies that could one day lead to actionable therapies for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
BrightFocus funds research activities worldwide aimed at ending Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma, and provides resources – including research updates, facts and data, inspiring stories and advice from recognized experts – for those affected by these life-altering diseases.
In an interview with event host, MSNBC anchor Richard Lui, Zoghbi discussed how the research that’s being done on rare diseases could potentially translate to more common illnesses.
“We work on rare diseases and try to find treatments for them, but what I’ve learned is that many of the principles that we apply to the study of rare diseases can be applied to more common disorders using a similar strategy,” she said. “Eventually, we hope that the headway we make on these rare disorders could lead to treatments for millions in the long term.”
At the annual Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting, Zoghbi was named the 2019 Norman J. Siegel New Member Outstanding Science Award recipient by the American Pediatrics Society (APS), the oldest and most prestigious academic pediatric organization in North America. The award is presented each year to one new APS member for their considerable contribution to the advancement of pediatric science.
The PAS Meeting is the leading event for academic pediatric and child health research, and brings together thousands of pediatricians, researchers, academics and health care providers from around the world, and unites them in the mission to improve the health and well-being of children.
The APS is dedicated to the advancement of child health through the promotion of pediatric research, recognition of achievement and cultivation of excellence through advocacy, scholarship, education and leadership development. Admittance into the APS is via nomination. Members are recognized as academic leaders in pediatrics, and they continue to contribute to the overall progress of child health while inspiring the next generation of child health professionals.
Texas Children’s and academic partner Baylor College of Medicine were proud to have several faculty and staff inducted into the APS this year.
Dr. Carla Davis, chief of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology
Dr. Heidi Schwarzwald, chief medical officer of Pediatrics for Texas Children’s Health Plan
Dr. Jesus Vallejo, medical director of Texas Children’s International Patient Services
Dr. Kristy Murray, vice-chair for Research in the Section of Pediatrics at Baylor