Expert to Describe Contribution of Genetics to Cardiovascular Disease

Helen H. Hobbs


An internationally known genetics researcher will deliver a state-of-the-art lecture on “Genetics of Cardiovascular Disease: Getting to the Heart of the Matter” on Friday, Nov. 6.

Helen H. Hobbs, MD, is professor of internal medicine and molecular genetics, as well as director of the McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas.

Since 2002, she has been an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In partnership with Jonathan Cohen, she has identified genes and sequence variations contributing to metabolic and cardiovascular disorders with a focus on lipids and lipoproteins. Together they showed that rare genetic variations contribute to complex traits in the general population. By concentrating on alleles of low frequency and large phenotypic effect, they have discovered new therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of heart disease.

Recently, they identified genetic variants that contribute to the full spectrum of fatty liver disease, extending from hepatic steatosis to cirrhosis.

She holds five patents and has published more than 160 journal articles and book chapters. She serves as a consulting editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and is on the editorial boards of Cell Metabolism and eLife.

Among many awards, she has received the Alfred S. Maschke Award for Excellence in the Art and Practice of Medicine and a distinguished alumnus award from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, the Heinrich Wieland Prize, a clinical research prize and a distinguished scientist award from the American Heart Association, the Glorney-Raisbeck Award from the New York Academy of Medicine, the International Society of Atherosclerosis Prize, the Pasarow Foundation Award in Cardiovascular Research, and the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize from the Rockefeller University. Dr. Hobbs was elected to the Institute of Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences.

She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and her clinical and post-doctoral training at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas.