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May 01, 2020 Friday 03:12:05 AM IST

Scientist wins leading brain research prize

International Edu News

The world’s biggest neuroscience prize has been awarded to an Edinburgh scientist for his work to understand a rare neurological disorder. Professor Sir Adrian Bird has been announced as a joint winner of the Brain Prize – the most valuable research prize for neuroscience – in recognition of his ground-breaking research on Rett Syndrome. He shares the prize of 10 million Danish krone – more than £1.1 million – with fellow scientist Huda Zoghbi for their work on the disease, which affects brain development, primarily among girls in early childhood. Symptoms include problems with coordination, language, and repetitive movements.

Adrian Bird is Buchanan Professor of Genetics in the University’s School of Biological Sciences. Huda Zoghbi is a professor of genetics at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, US. They received the prize for their insights in identifying the gene responsible for Rett syndrome, known as MECP2, and for showing how it regulates brain function. MECP2 was discovered in 1992 by Professor Bird, and later shown by Professor Zoghbi to be the cause of the condition.

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