Quasar Padiath Appointed Human Genetics Chair

Department of Human Genetics Associate Professor Quasar S. Padiath has been appointed to the position of chair of the department, his academic home since 2011.

Padiath has served as interim chair since October 2023 and also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Neurobiology at Pitt’s School of Medicine.

“The Human Genetics Department has been an amazingly collegial and supportive environment that has allowed me to succeed not only as a researcher, but also as a teacher, mentor and a member of the larger scientific community,” says Padiath, whose research focuses on studying the mechanisms of demyelinating diseases or leukodystrophies. He has been responsible for the identification of multiple leukodystrophy causing genes and underlying disease mechanisms. Understanding these associated pathways can help identify therapeutic targets that may have relevance not only for the treatment of leukodystrophies but also for common diseases like multiple sclerosis.

His other research interests include understanding the impact of structural variants on gene regulation and disease causation, and the organization of the nuclear architecture in disease and development. He has also been a major contributor to the department’s teaching portfolio.

“I look forward to carrying the positive culture of the department forward and ensuring that it continues grow as a scientific and teaching powerhouse, with an equally nurturing environment for the next generation of students and young researchers,” he says.

Padiath received his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) degree from Kilpauk Medical College in Madras, India, and his PhD from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, followed by postdoctoral training at Stanford University and the University of California at San Francisco.

-Clare Collins