HOUSTON – (June 27, 2012) – Genetic researcher Hope Northrup, M.D., professor of pediatrics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), has been named the 2012 Wise Woman HER Award recipient by Houston Woman Magazine.
The Wise Woman award recognizes a teacher or mentor who has provided guidance that has had a significant impact on the outcome of others’ lives.
“She changes lives with her intellectual brilliance, limitless compassion and boundless energy,” wrote MaryJane Mudd, the Houston Woman Magazine subscriber who nominated Northrup in an essay that included similar quotes from parents, educators and physicians around the country.
Mudd met Northrup after Mudd’s daughter was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a genetic disorder that causes benign tumors to grow in the brain and on other vital organs such as the kidneys, heart, eyes, lungs, and skin. It commonly affects the central nervous system, and in some cases leads to serious medical complications.
“If not for Dr. Northrup’s dogged determination to research and isolate the genes that cause TSC, my husband and I would never have had more children. Because of her research, we found out we were not carriers of the disease…we went on to have two more babies who are now healthy teenagers,” Mudd wrote.
Northrup, director of the Division of Medical Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics at the UTHealth Medical School, has led a laboratory for the past 20 years that contributed to finding the two TSC-causing genes. She also works on spina bifida and has co-authored numerous articles linking variants in metabolism (folate and glucose) genes to spina bifida. In 2006, she founded the Tuberous Sclerosis Center, part of UT Physicians, the practice one of just 20 clinics in the country devoted to research and the treatment of tuberous sclerosis.
She is chairman of the Clinical Advisory Board for the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.
“Over the past decade, there has been incredible progress in the fight against TSC. This would not have been possible without the leadership, guidance and compassion of Dr. Hope Northrup,” wrote Kari Luther Rosbeck, president and CEO of the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, in a letter of support for Northrup. “She is an asset to the Houston community, the U.S. healthcare community and worldwide scientific community and is most deserving of the Wise Woman Award.”
Deborah Mann Lake
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