Institute of Human Genetics
Honors and awards
Dr. Schaaf is the Medical Director and Department Chair of the Institute of Human Genetics at Heidelberg University (Germany). He is also a Visiting Professor at Baylor College of Medicine and the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute in Houston, Texas (USA). He studies the genetic causes of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. His work led to the discovery of multiple new disease genes, and two disorders have been named after him: Schaaf-Yang syndrome and Bosch-Boonstra-Schaaf Optic Atrophy syndrome.
His 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 Partners Healthcare and Harvard Medical School, the inaugural Seldin-Smith Award for Pioneering Research by the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Wilhelm Vaillant Prize.
He 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, and a past Chair of Education for the American College of Medical Genetics.
Most importantly, Dr. Schaaf 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, He works tirelessly towards care plans and therapeutic opportunities that will improve the quality of life of those affected with neuropsychiatric disease.