Pediatric Neurogeneticist Wins National Award for Contributions to Neuroscience

Joseph Gleeson, M.D., is endowed chair at Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine

San Diego–May 08, 2017—The Director of Neurodevelopmental Genetics and endowed chair at Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine Joseph Gleeson, M.D., is the first recipient of the Constance Lieber Prize for Innovation in Developmental Neuroscience.

The award recognizes transformative contributions in developmental neuroscience leading to new treatments by an investigator under 55 years of age. It was established by the Lieber Institute for Brain Development (LIBD), an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The award includes a $100,000 cash prize and will be presented to Dr. Gleeson in June at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

“Dr. Gleeson is a highly regarded and accomplished developmental neuroscientist,” said LIBD Director and CEO Daniel R. Weinberger, M.D. “His latest work to uncover the molecular origins of developmental behavior disorders made him a unanimous choice for the inaugural recipient of this prize.”

At the Rady Children’s Institute of Genomic Medicine, Dr. Gleeson is building a program in neurogenetics that seeks to understand the genetic basis of diseases such as epilepsy, autism and mental disability to develop new treatments. His pioneering work is supported by a $2.5 million endowment for neuroscience provided by Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary.

“I am absolutely thrilled and humbled to receive the Constance Lieber Prize for Innovation in Developmental Neuroscience,” said Dr. Joseph Gleeson. “My hope is that someday children and families with brain disorders can benefit from the work we’re doing in what I call ‘assembly neuroscience’, that is, how the human brain is assembled, and to which I feel honored to have contributed.”

In addition to his leadership role at Rady Children’s, Dr. Gleeson is also a professor of Neuroscience and Pediatrics at the UC San Diego School of Medicine; Adjunct Professor with The Rockefeller University and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institution.

The Lieber Institute for Brain Development established the new prize to honor Connie Lieber, one of the Institute’s founders, for her leadership in the area of mental health research and her prescient insights about the central role of brain development in psychiatric illness. More information about the prize can be found at clprize.libd.org.

About Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine:

The Institute is leading the way in advancing precision healthcare for infants and children through genomic and systems medicine research. Discoveries at the Institute are enabling rapid diagnosis and targeted treatment of critically ill newborns and pediatric patients at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. The vision is to develop an integrated process that can be expanded to deliver precision pediatric medicine at children’s hospitals in California, the nation and the world. Learn more at www.RadyGenomics.org.      

About Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego:

Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego is a 551-bed pediatric care facility providing the largest source of comprehensive pediatric medical services in San Diego, Southern Riverside and Imperial counties. Rady Children’s is the only hospital in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric healthcare and is the region’s only designated pediatric trauma center. In June 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rady Children’s among the best children’s hospitals in the nation in nine pediatric specialties. Rady Children’s is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations to support its mission. For more information, visit www.rchsd.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo.

About the Lieber Institute for Brain Development

The mission of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development and the Maltz Research Laboratories is to translate the understanding of basic genetic and molecular mechanisms of schizophrenia and related developmental brain disorders into clinical advances that change the lives of affected individuals. LIBD is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization and a Maryland tax-exempt medical research institute affiliated with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. For more information, please visit www.libd.org.

Media Contact:
Grace Sevilla
858-966-1710 (o); 619-855-5135 (c)
gsevilla@rchsd.org