Daniel J. Rader, MD

Chief, Division of Human Genetics

Rader heads up this new division, which marks the merger of CHOP’s former divisions of Genetics and Metabolism. He retains his positions at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has served as Chief of the Division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics since 2011 and as Chair of the Department of Genetics since 2014. His unique dual role puts him in the perfect position to guide enhanced collaborations between the genetics programs across the Penn and CHOP communities. Earlier in his career, Rader was a staff scientist in the Molecular Disease Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Breakthrough moment

“Early on during my time at the NIH, I got to know a wonderful 4-year-old girl who had homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH). Her cholesterol level was about 1,000 (normal is less than 180), and she already had plaque buildup in her heart. Her sister had died of a heart attack at age 2. I knew then that it would be a disease I would spend a lot of time studying and trying to develop new treatments for. Fast-forward: A medicine for HoFH I played the lead role in developing was approved by FDA a few years ago and is on the market; and this year we initiated a gene therapy trial to treat HoFH. As Chief Scientific Adviser for the Familial Hypercholesterolemia Foundation, I am determined to identify and effectively treat all children with FH.”

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