Zoghbi to receive The Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine for 2016


HOUSTON – (June 9, 2016) – 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.