Grace M Hobson, MEd, PhD
Primary Title: Head - Neurogenetics Research Laboratory
Additional Title(s): Principal Research Scientist Acting Head, Center for Applied Clinical Genomics BioMed Research Radiation Safety Officer
Bio: I head the Neurogenetics Research Laboratory, which is focused on studying the X-linked leukodystrophy Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD). I have had success in obtaining NIH funding, first as a Target Investigator on our highly-praised COBRE grant that led to the formation of a Center for Excellence in Pediatric Research at Nemours, and then as an independent investigator with my own NIH R01 grant. I have led efforts that demonstrated the complexity of genomic rearrangements in PMD and led to speculations about the mechanism by which they were formed. To further understand the basis of the clinical phenotype caused by the PLP1 mutations, I led efforts to construct a mouse model of aberrant splicing in PMD. We are currently using this model in pre-clinical trials for a potential treatment for a subset of patients whose disease is caused by aberrant splicing. We have also created a second mouse model containing a large genomic rearrangement that is a faithful representation of the human duplication, which is the most common type of genetic lesion causing PMD, and we are studying disease pathogenesis in this model. As a result of the successful work of the Neurogenetics Research Lab under my direction, my graduate training in education at the University of Virginia, and my previous gene expression work at the University of Delaware and the Dupont Experimental Station, I have gained the expertise to lead research and to mentor.