Robert Weiss, Ph. D.

Dr. Robert Weiss is a Professor in the Department of Human Genetics. He received his BS in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his PhD in Genetics from the University of Washington, studying the fidelity of protein synthesis. He did his post-doctoral work at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory before joining the faculty of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Utah, where his early research focused on technologies that contributed to sequencing the human genome. His later research efforts have involved studying the genetics and genomics of various human disorders, including hereditary cancers, nicotine dependence and numerous types of neuromuscular disorders. Through a collaborative effort, the United Dystrophinopathy Project, his laboratory developed and offers DNA diagnostics to patients afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). His current research efforts include discovering genetic modifiers of disease progression in patients with neuromuscular diseases using genome-wide association strategies.

Russell Butterfield, MD, Ph. D.

Dr. Russell Butterfield is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology. After receiving his B.S. in Microbiology from Brigham Young University, he joined the Medical Scholars Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He completed his PhD training in mammalian genetics, studying genetic aspects of organ-specific autoimmunity. After completion of medical school he moved west to the University of Utah, School of Medicine where he completed training in Pediatrics and Child Neurology. At completion of his residency, Dr. Butterfield completed a neuromuscular fellowship sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He is currently a trainee under the Childhood Research Career Development Award (CHRCDA) in the Department of Pediatrics. His current efforts are in characterization of genotype/phenotype relationships and molecular pathogenesis in collagen VI myopathies. He has an interest in all types of neurogenetic and neuromuscular disorders with an emphasis on muscular dystrophies of childhood onset.

Melissa Dixon, Ph. D., MS

Missy Dixon, PhD, MS earned her PhD in counseling psychology, and her MS in professional counseling from the University of Utah. She completed her clinical training in counseling psychology at Brigham Young University in 2010. She is currently a visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Divisions of Pediatric Neurology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Health. Dr. Dixon joined the UPIN research team in 2010. Her research focuses on cognitive development and function, functional connectivity and neural networks in neuromuscular disease. She works with an interdisciplinary team to identify central nervous system involvement in myotonic dystrophy and other neuromuscular diseases using neurocognitive and neuroimaging outcome measures. Additionally, she researches the psychosocial impact of living with muscular dystrophy and neurogenetic disorders. Away from work, Missy enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being outside in the mountains, and traveling.