HOUSTON, June 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On May 31, The Shaw Prize Foundation in Hong Kong awarded the 2016 Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine to pioneering neuroscientist Dr. Huda Y. Zoghbi, director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and Ralph D. Feigin Professor at Baylor College of Medicine.
The award was presented jointly to Zoghbi and Dr. Adrian P. Bird, Buchanan Professor of Genetics at the University of Edinburgh, for their groundbreaking discovery of the genes and the encoded proteins associated with Rett syndrome.
"I am humbled to be honored by the esteemed Shaw Prize Foundation," said Zoghbi. "We will use this support to continue the research into how Rett syndrome affects the brain with the hope that our research will impact future treatment options."
Rett syndrome is the leading cause of intellectual disabilities in girls, affecting one in 10,000, and is particularly devastating as girls affected by the syndrome develop normally for the first few months of life before a catastrophic decline in neurological capabilities.
The Shaw Prize is an international award established in 2002 designed to foster scientific research. Awarded annually, the Prize honors individuals who have achieved significant breakthroughs in academic and scientific research or applications, and whose work has resulted in a positive and profound impact on mankind.
Zoghbi will receive the award, along with Bird, at a ceremony later this year in Hong Kong. The $1.2 million prize will be shared by Bird and Zoghbi.
Zoghbi's discovery that mutations in the MEPC2 gene cause this devastating neurological disorder paved the way for the development of a diagnostic genetic test for Rett syndrome.
About Texas Children's Hospital
Texas Children's Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children's hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children's has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women's health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children's Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children's Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation's first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that's channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children's Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.
About Baylor College of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine (www.bcm.edu) in Houston is recognized as a premier academic health sciences center and is known for excellence in education, research and patient care. It is the only private medical school in the greater southwest and is ranked 20th among medical schools for research and 9th for primary care by U.S. News & World Report. Baylor is listed 20th among all U.S. medical schools for National Institutes of Health funding and number one in Texas. Located in the Texas Medical Center, Baylor has affiliations with seven teaching hospitals and jointly owns and operates Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, part of CHI St. Luke's Health. Currently, Baylor trains more than 3,000 medical, graduate, nurse anesthesia, physician assistant and orthotics students, as well as residents and post-doctoral fellows.
Texas Children's Hospital
Baylor College of Medicine
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SOURCE Texas Children's Hospital