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Christian Schaaf

Christian Schaaf

Professor and Chairman, Heidelberg University
Christian is the medical director and department chair of the Institute of Human Genetics at the University of Heidelberg. He studies the genetic causes of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. His work led to the discovery of multiple new disease genes, and three disorders have been named after him: Schaaf-Yang syndrome, Bosch-Boonstra-Schaaf Optic Atrophy syndrome, and Marbach-Schaaf Neurodevelopmental syndrome.

Christian's groundbreaking work has been recognized with many awards, including a Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award, the William K. Bowes Award for Medical Genetics by Harvard Medical School, the inaugural Seldin-Smith Award for Pioneering Research by the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Wilhelm Vaillant Award.

Christian has authored four books, including a major textbook of medical genetics that has been translated into several languages. He is a passionate teacher and educator. Most importantly, Christian is an advocate for his patients. He empowers families by helping them understand what human genetics has to offer in patient care, management, counseling, and family planning. Together with family support organizations, Christian works tirelessly towards care plans and therapeutic opportunities that will improve the quality of life of those affected with neuropsychiatric disease.