Dr. Brendan Lee, the Robert and Janice McNair Endowed Chair in Molecular and Human Genetics and professor and chair of the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, has been awarded the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2016 Curt Stern Award, an honor given annually to a genetics and genomics researcher who has made significant scientific contributions in the last decade.
Contributions in genetics
The Curt Stern Award celebrates Lee’s influential career in identifying human inborn errors of metabolism and structural birth defects of the skeleton. His internationally-recognized research continues to focus on understanding how gene mutations affect skeletal development, combining laboratory studies with clinical research, as well as nitrogen regulation.
As an M.D./Ph.D. student, Lee was the first to clone two genes for the connective tissue diseases Marfan syndrome and spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia. Over the past decade, he has led gene discovery and mechanistic studies in the causes of brittle bone diseases, also known as osteogenesis imperfecta, as well as urea cycle disorders. These studies have led to the development and approval of new treatments.
A dedication to education
Aside from his role as chair and professor in molecular and human genetics, Lee also is a leader and mentor across many of Baylor’s other programs, including integrative molecular and biomedical sciences, developmental biology, translational biology and molecular medicine, the Center for Skeletal Medicine and Biology, Medical School Research Track and the Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Bone Disease Program of Texas.
In addition to his dedicated long-time membership and service to the ASHG, in which he currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors, Lee is currently Past President of the Society for Pediatric Research, and a member of the American College of Medical Genetics, the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He is the recipient of many other prestigious honors, having most recently been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.