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Child Neurology Society to honor Dr. Jimmy L. Holder, Jr.

Child Neurology Society to honor Dr. Jimmy L. Holder, Jr.

Dr. Jimmy L. Holder, Jr., MD/PhD, a researcher at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI) has been selected to receive the prestigious Philip R. Dodge Young Investigator award endowment fund from the Child Neurology Society (CNS) during their annual meeting in October. In 2004, the Child Neurology Society renamed its Young Investigator Award in the honor of Philip R. Dodge.

The Dodge Award selects practicing child neurologists who are also deeply committed to neuroscience research. This award embodies the basic educational principles espoused by Dr. Dodge i.,e the role of neurologists is effectively incomplete until the patients are cured of the disease and not just experience temporary relief from the symptoms. He envisioned that the path forward to achieve it was through solidly grounded and applied research that would benefit patients and their families. 

Dr. Holder received his undergraduate education from John Hopkins University and his MD/PhD training in University of Texas Southwestern Medical School followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at University of California at San Francisco and a residency in Child Neurology at the Baylor College of Medicine. Having been trained at some of the best clinical and research institutions and mentors in the nation, he is well-regarded as a clinical child neurologist and as a molecular neurogeneticist.

Over the years, he has used mouse models to model and dissect novel genes and mechanisms involved in human diseases including obesity, sleep disorders and autism. His recent research led to the identification that mice overexpressing SHANK3 gene exhibited multiple behavioral abnormalities and epilepsy. Interestingly, he found that individuals with this duplication had a unique neurodevelopmental disorder. He has established a SHANKopathy clinic at Texas Children’s Hospital to care for children with SHANK3 mutations or duplications while also continuing his research on defining new clinical symptoms of SHANK3 defects. 

Dr. Huda Zoghbi, Director of NRI and a former NRI faculty, Dr. Jeffrey Neul are among the past recipients of this esteemed award.