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Dr Basil Darras & Dr Kunkel (pt 3)

About the Speakers

Louis Kunkel, PhD

Louis Kunkel, PhD

 Dr. Louis Kunkel received his PhD degree in biology from the Johns Hopkins University and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California, San Francisco and at Children’s Hospital Boston. For the past 15 years, Dr. Kunkel has led Children’s Genetics Division, which consists of more than fifty individuals. Dr. Kunkel is personally involved in each project in his own laboratory and this helps to assure the fulfillment of his scientific objectives. Dr. Kunkel is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He currently holds appointments as Director of the Program in Genomics at Children’s Hospital Boston; Investigator, Howard Hughes Institute; Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston; and Director of the Sequencing/Genotyping, Expression Array and FACS Sorting Core Facilities at Children’s Hospital Boston. Dr. Kunkel has authored 197 journal articles and 20 book chapters. He has received 22 awards and honors for scientific leadership and achievement including membership in the National Academy of Sciences, The Gairdner Foundation International Award 1989, Silvio O. Conte decade of Brain Award 1991, the MDS’s S. Mouchly Small Scientific Achievement Award 1999, the Charles A. Dana Distinguished Research in Neuroscience Award, and the William Allan Award for distinguished service in human genetics in 2004.


Basil Darras, MD

Basil Darras, MD

Dr. Basil Darras is Associate Neurologist-in-Chief and Chief of the Division of Clinical Neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), where he also serves as Director of the Neuromuscular Program.  He holds the Joseph J. Volpe Chair in Neurology at Harvard Medical School (HMS). His career focuses on pediatric neuromuscular disorders, particularly spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and muscular dystrophies, which benefit from multidisciplinary, multicenter collaboration.  He is therefore frequently involved in studies that unite investigators in efforts to develop effective therapies and broaden understanding of the genetic causes and progression of neuromuscular disorders.  Collaborations include the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Clinical Research Network, the NIH’s NeuroNEXT Network, and the SMA Foundation’s Pediatric Neuromuscular Clinical Research (PNCR) network. 

Through numerous publications and conference presentations, Dr. Darras has influenced clinical care in the field of pediatric neuromuscular diseases both nationally and internationally.  His many accomplishments include descriptions of novel mutations in patients with neuromuscular diseases and the application of new technologies to explore the pathogenesis of congenital myopathies and muscular dystrophies.  He has received several awards, including Teaching of the Year and Outstanding Teacher awards from the BCH Neurology Department, and has achieved worldwide recognition as a leader in the field of neuromuscular disorders. 

Dr. Darras is an editor of both the first and second editions of the definitive textbook, Neuromuscular Disorders in Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence: A Clinician’s Approach, a standard of reference for clinical and clinical research neurologists.