Hsiao-Tuan Chao Lab



June 29, 2020 - Pediatric neurologist and investigator, Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao receives the prestigious 2020 Philip R. Dodge Young Investigator Award from the Child Neurology Society for her important contributions to neuroscience research and rare diseases. She will present the Dodge lecture at the CNS-ICNA Conjoint meeting in October 2020. View press release.

March 20, 2020 - Drs. Dongxue Mao, Hugo Bellen, and Hsiao-Tuan Chao at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in collaboration with the Undiagnosed Diseases Network identified gene variants in the EIF2AK family of kinases leads to previously unidentified neurodevelopmental disorders - in which inappropriate response to stress (such as fever triggered by viral infections) triggers degeneration of the nerve fibers connecting major brain regions, collectively known as the white matter. This is the first study to demonstrate that variants in EIF2AK1 and EIF2AK2 result in neurologic disorders characterized by delayed development, white matter alterations, and neurologic regression. The study appears in the American Journal of Human Genetics. View press release.

July 25-27, 2019 – First Annual Hypotonia, Ataxia, and Delayed Development Syndrome Family Conference held at The Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas. Keynote lectures by Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao and Dr. Michael Wangler.

May 23, 2019 – Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao was honored with the 2019 Health Care Heroes Rising Star Award by the Houston Business Journal. She was one of four physicians to receive this recognition for her dedication to her patients, trainees, and her research discoveries in the field of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. View article.

April 9, 2019 – Darrion Nguyen awarded the 2019 Best Basic Science Poster prize for his abstract entitled “Elucidating the pathogenic role of EBF3 in HADD syndrome” from the BCM Department of Pediatrics Annual Research Symposium.

March 13, 2019 – Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao named new McNair Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine. She is the College’s first McNair M.D./Ph.D. Scholar Alumni to also be named a McNair Scholar. The McNair Scholar program, supported by The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and managed by the McNair Medical Institute, identifies and recruits influential researchers in neuroscience, cancer and juvenile diabetes. Similarly, the McNair M.D./Ph.D. Scholars program trains highly motivated M.D./Ph.D. students as physician-scientists who split their time between conducting biomedical research while still caring for patients. View article.

March 11, 2019 – Nathan Bliss was one of four awardees nationwide to receive the competitive 2019 Undergraduate Summer Research Grant by the Autism Science Foundation for his project to elucidate the role of teneurins in neurodevelopmental disorders. View article.

Dec. 19, 2018 – Dr. Maureen Handoko, Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao, and a team of physicians and researchers at the BCM Undiagnosed Diseases Network site identified the fourth known case of recurrent mosaic MTOR c.5930C>T (p.Thr1977Ile) variant to cause megalencephaly, asymmetric polymicrogyria, and cutaneous pigmentary mosaicism with intellectual disability. Their finding demonstrates the tissue variability in the mosaic expression of the recurrent p.Thr1977Ile MTOR variant and expands the clinical phenotype. The study appears in the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A.

Oct. 2, 2018 – Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao awarded the 2018 National Institutes of Health Director’s High-Risk High-Reward DP5 Early Independence Award. This honor recognizes creative scientists who are working on highly innovative research to address major challenges in biomedical research. She is one of 11 researchers from across the country to be recognized in this award category. At BCM, she is the second recipient and the first physician-scientist to be awarded this honor since the inception of the award in 2011. The Early Independence Award will provide $1.25 million over 5 years to support her work on how single gene changes that alter transcriptional networks can affect communication between neurons. View article.

July 3, 2018 – Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao awarded the Child Neurology Society and Foundation’s 2018 Elterman Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation grant. The $100,000 grant will be awarded over two years to support Dr. Chao’s research into unraveling the genetic and circuit mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders such as intellectual disability, autism, and epilepsy. View article.

June 12, 2018 – Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao receives the prestigious 2018 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Scientists. The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is an independent private foundation dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities. This highly competitive Career Award for Medical Scientists provides $700,000 of research funding spread over five years to physician-scientists embarking on independent academic careers. View article.

Oct. 27, 2017 – Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao honored with the 2017 STAT News Wunderkind award. She is one of 27 researchers honored, out of hundreds of nominations from across the country, as trailblazers in their respective fields by integrating innovative cross-disciplinary approaches in medicine, science, and technology. She is being recognized for her work on GABA-signaling pathways and how they relate to Rett syndrome and other childhood neurological disorders. View article.

Aug. 16, 2017 – Dr. Magalie Leduc, Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao, and colleagues expanded the clinical and molecular characterization of de novo loss of function variants in HNRNPU associated with a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by epilepsy and autism. The study appears in the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A. View article.

May 11, 2017 – MARRVEL is a new way to compile big data in a human-centric way. A team of researchers, including Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao, in the Undiagnosed Disease Network at Baylor College of Medicine created MARRVEL (Model organism Aggregated Resources for Rare Variant ExpLoration) to help researchers everywhere search databases all at once and in a matter of minutes. The study appears in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

May 3, 2017 – Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao received the inaugural Neuroscience Research Training Scholarship from the American Academy of Neurology. The 2017 AAN research program awarded nearly $3 million dollars toward neuroscience research and training. This was the first year AAN awarded a basic or translational neuroscience-focused research training scholarship. View article.

March 1, 2017 – Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao received the competitive Child Neurologist Career Development Program – K12 grant. She is one of five recipients nationwide to receive the grant for her research into elucidate how transcriptional regulation of inhibitory GABAergic signaling modulates neural activity and affects complex behaviors through cross-species approaches in humans, fruit flies, and mice. View article.

Dec. 22, 2016 - Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao and her colleagues identified the genetic cause for a previously unrecognized neurodevelopmental disorder. They identified that damaging variants in the gene EBF3 causes a developmental disorder with features in common with autism. Identification of these gene variants leads to a better understanding of these complex conditions and opens the possibility of diagnosing other previously undiagnosed patients with similar clinical disorders. The study appears in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

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