Dr. Huda Zoghbi, director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Institute and professor in the departments of pediatrics, molecular and human genetics, neurology, and neuroscience, was the recipient of the 2017 Switzer Prize from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA for excellence in biological and biomedical sciences research.
The Switzer Prize recognizes discoveries in basic research in the biological and biomedical sciences that have the potential to inspire transformative breakthroughs in medicine. It is awarded annually to an individual investigator whose recent work has revealed new paradigms, illuminated biological processes or pathways, or explained the origins of pathologies or diseases.
The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA established the prize to promote the importance of basic sciences research, which advances the understanding of biological systems and human physiology. Such research – a priority at UCLA – is essential to continued improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of illnesses.
The Switzer Prize is named in recognition of the generosity of Irma and Norman Switzer, who made a major gift to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Dr. Zoghbi's research includes identifying a gene mutation that causes Rett syndrome, a severe genetic disorder that mostly affects girls. She will deliver the Switzer Prize lecture at UCLA in February 2018.