Dr. Zinn received his B.A. degree in 1981 from Plan II at The University of Texas at Austin, where he did research on ribosome structure with biochemist Boyd Hardesty, Ph.D. He received his MD and PhD degrees from the UT Southwestern Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) in 1988. His dissertation research under the mentorship of Ronald Butow, Ph.D. concerned yeast mitochondrial genetics. Dr. Zinn then did a residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in human genetics in the lab of David Page, MD, at the Whitehead Institute, MIT. He returned to UT Southwestern in 1993 as an independent research fellow and was appointed to the faculty in 1996. In 2008 he became the director of the MSTP, and in 2013 he was appointed Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. His research program in the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development focused on human genetic growth disorders, including sex chromosome abnormalities, hereditary obesity, and other rare genetic diseases. 


University of Texas-Austin (1981), Liberal Arts
Medical School
Univ of Tx Southwestern Med Ct (1988), Medicine
Graduate School
Univ of Tx Southwestern Med Ct (1988), Molecular & Cell Biology

Research Interest

  • genetic obesity
  • rare human genetic disorders
  • sex chromosome disorders


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Sim1 haploinsufficiency impairs melanocortin-mediated anorexia and activation of paraventricular nucleus neurons.
Kublaoui BM, Holder JL Jr, Gemelli T, Zinn AR. Mol Endocrinol 2006 20 2483-2492
Sim1 gene dosage modulates the homeostatic feeding response to increased dietary fat in mice
Holder Jr JL, Zhang L, Kublaoui BM, DiLeone RJ, Oz OK, Bair CH, Lee YH, and Zinn AR Am J Phys Endocrinol Metab 2004 287 E105-13
Profound obesity associated with a balanced translocation that disrupts the SIM1 gene
Holder Jr. JL, Butte NF, Zinn AR Hun Mol Gen 2000 9 101-108

Honors & Awards

  • Pfizer Scholar
  • Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fund Fellowship
    (1990-1993) (1990)
  • NIDDK Medical Resident Award
  • Nominata Award for Outstanding Research, UT Southwestern
  • Alpha Omega Alpha

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • AAMC Graduate Education, Research, and Teaching (GREAT) Group (2008)
  • American Society for Human Genetics