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Sonia Vallabh and Eric Minikel

Senior Group Leader, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Sonia Vallabh and Eric Minikel co-lead the Vallabh/Minikel Laboratory at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, dedicated to the development of therapeutics for human prion diseases. This work spans testing therapeutic drug candidates, identifying and validating biomarkers, generating and characterizing new models, and advocating for regulatory pathways to enable prevention of prion disease.

This work is personally motivated: in late 2011, Sonia found out she carries the autosomal dominant genetic mutation that had caused her mother to abruptly develop and die of prion disease the year before. Having originally trained in law and city planning respectively, Sonia and Eric both changed careers in order to become biomedical scientists and devote their lives to working towards a treatment or cure. They founded Prion Alliance, a research non-profit, and Eric began blogging at They received their PhDs from Harvard Medical School in 2019.