A Microbial Link to Parkinson’s Disease

Haydeh Payami helped uncover the genetic basis of Parkinson’s disease. Now, she hopes to find new ways to treat the disease by studying the gut microbiome.

At the age of 19, Haydeh Payami, now a geneticist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, left Iran and came to the United States with two suitcases and a fascination with genetics. In the following years, she pursued a doctoral degree in genetics and trailblazed her path as a researcher. Today, Payami leads a team of motivated researchers and combines her love of genetics with the microbial world to find ways to prevent and treat Parkinson’s disease.

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