UT Southwestern Geneticist Adds Another To Her List of Honors, Wins Prestigious Cardiovascular Research Award

Dr. Helen Hobbs is no stranger to the web pages of D CEO Healthcare, having won a couple awards over the last few years that have prompted our coverage. Last week, the UT Southwestern geneticist added another, as Hobbs was awarded the 2018 Grand Prix Scientifique from the Institut de France for her research that led to a new class of cholesterol drugs.

The Grand Prix Scientifique is considered one of the largest awards for scientific achievement as well as one of the most prestigious prizes in cardiovascular research, according to UT Southwestern. She will share a prize of 600,000 euros—more than $700,000—with two others, a French scientist and a Canadian scientist.

Hobbs directs the Eugence McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development. Her research has come via data collected through the Dallas Heart Study, which she co-founded, and which allows for an ethnically diverse view of 3,500 Dallas County residents.

Here’s how I described what she did with it in a story in March, when Hobbs won the Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine:

Hobbs focused her analysis on rare mutations, a dissent from previous research, and found an individual with a mutation in the PCSK9 gene that also had “hyper-low” cholesterol levels. Drug companies turned the research into a cholesterol-fighting drug.

She won a $20,000 award with that prize. She pocketed $3 million for her 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

“I am thrilled to receive this prize to honor the work performed with Professor of Internal Medicine Dr. Jonathan Cohen and my laboratory,” Dr. Hobbs says in a statement. “I am honored to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Eric Olson, who received the same prize in 2009. Special thanks to Nobel Laureates Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Joseph Goldstein for the tough, rigorous yet supportive environment in which I trained as a scientist.”


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