Helen Hobbs Awarded $3 Million 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for Transformative Genetics Research Techniques Developed and Used to ID Key Genes in Lipid Metabolism and Fatty Liver Disease; Mark Zuckerberg Helps Host Awards Ceremony

This year’s Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences of $3 million each have been awarded to five outstanding scientists, including Helen Hobbs, M.D., who is Director of the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern, and also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator, in recognition of transformative genetics research techniques she developed and used to identify key genes involved in lipid metabolism and fatty liver disease. In addition to Dr. Hobbs, recipients of the 2016 Breakthrough PrizeS in Life sciences are Edward S. Boyden (MIT), Karl Deisseroth (Stanford, HHMI), John Hardy (University College London), and Svante Pääbo (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology). Please see the titles of the awards to the five recipients of the 2016 Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences at the end of this article. The Breakthrough Prize, an international award established in 2012 by Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and Alibaba founder Jack Ma, awards annual prizes of $3 million for ground-breaking discoveries in the fields of Mathematics, Physics, and Life Sciences. “Dr. Hobbs is an exceptional physician-scientist and a highly respected member of our faculty,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern. “The Dallas Heart Study, which she pioneered and has led for the last 15 years, has proved to be a powerful resource for defining the genetic basis of human biology and disease, including mechanisms controlling cholesterol metabolism.” Dr. Podolsky holds the Philip O’Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration, and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science.
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