About Susan A. Slaugenhaupt, PhD

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Susan A. Slaugenhaupt, PhD, is the Scientific Director of the Mass General Research Institute, a strategic initiative that will support the entire research enterprise at Mass General to foster and sustain medical innovation. She is also a Professor in the Department of Neurology at Mass General and Harvard Medical School, and an Investigator in the Center for Genomic Medicine.

Dr. Slaugenhaupt spearheads several programs and educational initiatives at Mass General, including a thriving undergraduate summer internship program. Her Research Institute team works to promote science at Mass General by increasing interactions with industry, by fundraising for Research Institute initiatives, including partnering with individual philanthropists, their families and foundations and by promoting Mass General research to the community through events and social media. She also co-directs the Mass General Brigham Biobank at Mass General, an exciting initiative that will speed the translation of research discoveries into improved clinical care for patients.

Dr. Slaugenhaupt's research focuses on two neurological disorders, familial dysautonomia (FD) and mucolipidosis type IV (MLIV), as well as the common cardiac disorder mitral valve prolapse (MVP). Discoveries in Dr. Slaugenhaupt’s laboratory have led to the successful implementation of critical population screening for FD and MLIV, and to the development of a treatment for FD that directly targets the mRNA splicing mechanism. This exciting work has led to a clinical trial of the first therapeutic for FD aimed at altering the molecular defect.

In 2013, Dr. Slaugenhaupt was named the Elizabeth G. Riley and Dan E. Smith, Jr. MGH Research Scholar. In 2016, she was honored with a prestigious Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award by the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at NIH, and she was recently named one of the 2016 Top Ten Women to Watch in Science and Technology by the Boston Business Journal. In 2020, she was named the Elizabeth G. Riley and Daniel E. Smith, Jr. Endowed MGH Research Institute Chair.