Skip to Main Content

Helen Hobbs, M.D.

  • Professor, Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development
  • Philip O'Bryan Montgomery Jr., M.D.
  • Distinguished Chair in Developmental Biology
  • UT Southwestern President’s Research Council
  • Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
“You can do it all, but not all at once.”

Early Influences

Dr. Hobbs credits a specific mentor for guiding her toward STEMM. “I had a teacher in high school who also taught at Harvard Medical School. She told me she thought I would be an excellent doctor. She asked me if I had thought about the medical profession – I had not,” said Dr. Hobbs. “The moment she asked this question was the moment I realized that being a doctor is just what I should do.” 

Throughout the process of becoming a physician, Dr. Hobbs steadfastly believed in the power of curiosity.

“Scientific investigation always starts with a question. Get in the habit of asking and then trying to answer your questions. In the process of following your curiosity, you will discover what is known and what is not known.”

Contributions to STEMM

Dr. Hobbs leveraged this curiosity to establish a career as a physician-scientist. Her work at UTSW and beyond has established her as a titan of the human genetics field. Dr. Hobbs divides her time between lab and hospital settings.

“I run a laboratory that investigates the role of lipids (cholesterol and fat) in heart and liver disease and see adult patients with genetic disorders.”

As a Principal Investigator of the Hobbs-Cohen lab, she looks through the lens of molecular genetics to trace the connection between disordered lipid metabolism and disease. Her novel findings in cholesterol metabolism led to the development of a new category of therapeutical agents for individuals with high blood levels of cholesterol. 

Looking to the Next Generation

Throughout her career, Dr. Hobbs has credited her peers and mentors as crucial to her own success – something she recommends that young professionals in medicine emulate.

“My advice is to always work with the most talented and accomplished people that you can. Being a doctor or a scientist requires training, and you want to train with the best.”

Despite her distinguished career, Dr. Hobbs has struggled to push past self-doubt. “While I cannot say that I encountered any external barriers, I have had plenty of internal struggles,” she explained. “I often question myself. Am I good enough? Can I do this? Will I fail? I have had to work through these insecurities and keep pushing forward.”

The UT Southwestern Difference

Dr. Hobbs values many aspects of her career in STEMM. “I like the constant intellectual stimulation of being in science and medicine.” Specifically, she spoke highly of the collegiality at UT Southwestern.

“I am surrounded by bright and inquisitive individuals and enjoy my interactions with them in the hall, at the bench, at meetings, and in the clinic. I love mentoring the scientists in my laboratory and enjoy the relationships I have developed with my scientific colleagues.”

She sees her recognition as part of the Celebrating Breakthroughs Together project as “a terrific honor. We have a wonderful group of women in science and medicine here at UTSW, and I am so proud to be selected to represent them.”

View Academic Profile