Dr Maximilian Muenke, Chief, Medical Genetics Branch, Director, Medical Genetics and Genomic Medicine and Residency and Fellowship National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, US.
Muenke obtained his undergraduate and M.D. degree from the Free University School of Medicine in Berlin. He then pursued residency training in the Department of Pediatrics of the Christian-Albrecht University in Kiel in his native Germany. Dr. Muenke was awarded a three-year scholarship from the German Research Foundation to work with Dr. Uta Francke in the Human Genetics Department at Yale. Following this research fellowship, he completed training at the Children¹s Hospital in Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Elaine Zackai in Clinical Genetics and research training as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Associate with Dr. Robert Nussbaum. From 1990-97 he served on the faculty of the Departments of Pediatrics and Human Genetics at Penn where he was awarded tenure in 1996. In 1997 he joined the intramural program of NHGRI at the NIH as the Head of the Human Development Section and since 2000 as Chief of the Medical Genetics Branch. Dr. Muenke has directed Medical Genetics training since 1993 first at CHOP/Penn and since 1997 at NIH. The focus of his research has been on the delineation and identification of the underlying causes of craniofacial anomalies in humans. His lab made seminal discoveries in linking Sonic Hedgehog signaling to normal and abnormal brain development in humans. His group identified several genes important in craniofacial disorders including the most common craniosynostosis syndrome, now termed Muenke syndrome. More recently, his lab has identified susceptibility loci for ADHD, with further research focused on predicting severity, treatment response, and long-term outcome. Dr. Muenke is passionate about training the next generation of leaders in the field of genetics and genomics and he finds the work with families affected by genetic / genomic disorders as one of the most rewarding aspects of his professional career.