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Member-Exclusive Webinar: Genetic Research and Health Care

Neurological and psychiatric disorders often have complicated genetic origins. At this member-exclusive webinar, Huda Zoghbi, a professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, the director of the Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, discussed how new genetic approaches are helping to improve diagnoses and allowing interventions for neurological disorders, thereby reducing their overall burden in the health care system.

Using a multidisciplinary approach, Zoghbi shared how collaborative teams are approaching Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. She also showed how studying a rare disease like Rett syndrome can provide insight into more common diseases like autism and mental health disorders. Importantly, she discussed studies that reveal how early diagnosis can lead to disease-modifying interventions. The event was moderated by Kirstin Matthews, Baker Institute fellow in science and technology policy.

This event was sponsored by the Center for Health and Biosciences. Follow @BakerCHB on Twitter, and join the conversation with #BakerHealth.

This webinar was free and open to members of the Baker Institute Roundtable and the Health Policy Forum with the link included in their email invitation. For information about membership, please contact us at 713-348-4945 or


3:00 p.m. — Presentation
3:30 p.m. — Q&A

Featured Speaker

Huda Y. Zoghbi, M.D., is the Ralph D. Feigin Professor of Pediatrics, Neurology, Neuroscience, and Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine and an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She is also founding director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. Zoghbi’s interests range from neurodevelopment to neurodegeneration. Her clinical encounters with young girls with Rett syndrome inspired her to go into basic research. Her laboratory ultimately discovered the genetic cause of Rett syndrome and provided insight into the function of the gene in various neurons. This discovery opened an entirely new area of research — the role of epigenetics in neurological and psychiatric disorders. In addition, Zoghbi and collaborators have made numerous discoveries towards a better understanding of mechanisms driving adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders and are now focused on identifying potential treatments for these disorders. Zoghbi is a member of multiple professional organizations and serves as trustee of the American University of Beirut, Rice University, and The Rockefeller University. She also serves on advisory panels for the National Institutes of Health and the National Academies. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2000, the National Academy of Sciences in 2004 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018. Among Zoghbi’s recent honors are the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize from The Rockefeller University, the Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience from MIT, the Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Canada Gairdner International Award, the 2020 Brain prize and honorary degrees from Yale University and Harvard University. She also has a M.D. from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.


Kirstin Matthews, Ph.D.
Fellow in Science and Technology Policy, Baker Institute




Wed, Aug. 26, 2020
3 p.m. - 4 p.m.
(GMT-0500) US/Central


Online webinar