During his graduate career at the University of Oregon, Eugene, Jon Pierce studied the mechanisms for chemotaxis and taste discrimination in the nematode C. elegans with Dr. Shawn Lockery. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, he switched to a more medically relevant topic — studying the molecular basis for intoxication by alcohol. During this time, his elder son was born with Down syndrome, which, at the time, received little research attention. When he established his lab at the University of Texas at Austin in 2008, he was inspired to study the genetic basis for Down syndrome. Here, a vibrant collection of researchers are dedicated to discovering the causes and potential cures for genetic disorders through innovative research.