Helen Hobbs, M.D.

Dr. Hobbs is a physician-scientist and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) in Dallas, Texas. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Case Western Reserve Medical School (Cleveland OH). Afterwards she trained in internal medicine and endocrinology at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital (NYC) and UTSW and then joined the UTSW faculty in 1987. Together with Jonathan C. Cohen, she spearheaded establishment of the Dallas Heart Study (DHS), a multiethnic, population-based study of heart and metabolic diseases. In that population, she tested the hypothesis that DNA sequence variations with major phenotypic effects contribute to complex disorders. This approach unveiled a powerful strategy to dissect disease pathogenesis that was initially used to identify genetic differences that confer protection from atherosclerotic heart disease. She identified new sequence variations/genes contributing to differences in plasma levels of LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride (TG). These studies revealed new targets that led to the development of FDA-approved therapeutic antibodies (anti-PCSK9 and -ANGPTL3). She identified the first and most important genetic difference contributing to fatty liver disease. Gene identification is just the starting point of her studies. Ongoing functional analyses have elucidated the pathways and processes that are altered by the defective genes identified in the genetic studies. Her work has been recognized by several national and international organizations.  She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among the prizes she has received are the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Grand Prix Award from the Institute of France, and the Harrington Prize for Innovation and Medicine.  She has been on the Board of Pfizer, Inc. since 2011 and has consulted for the Column Group since 2019.