The 2018 HDSA Berman-Topper fellowship has been awarded to Dr. Rachel Harding for her proposal entitled “Structural and biophysical investigations of DNA and DNA repair protein interactions with huntingtin.” Check out the HDSA press release here.

Dr. Harding will conduct the research at the University of Toronto under the guidance of Dr. Cheryl Arrowsmith and with additional mentorship from Dr. Ray Truant at McMasters University. This project takes a close look at how the huntingtin protein interacts with DNA repair proteins. In recent years, DNA repair proteins have emerged as a new area of focus in Huntington’s disease research; they may play a role in age of onset and increase survival and longevity of neurons. Dr. Harding will make use of highly collaborative research relationships to identify and select important DNA repair proteins, and apply her expertise in structural biology to help visualize how these molecules interact with huntingtin.

HDSA’s scientific advisory board (SAB) was impressed with Dr. Harding’s unique proposal. She has excellent communication skills, a productive publication record, and has been profiled for her open attitude towards data-sharing. Through the HDSA Berman-Topper Career Development Fellowship she is recognized as having great potential to pursue an independent career in the field. She brings structural biology expertise and new energy to the study of HD, and is well-positioned to learn a great deal from her co-mentors, who are experts in high resolution microscopy and Huntington’s disease. Dr. Harding’s detailed study of how huntingtin bonds with DNA repair genes could break new ground in the field, and represents an exciting step in the direction of HD therapeutics.

Upcoming HDSA Research Webinar

Join us for an HDSA research webinar on Thursday, May 24, 2018 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT. Our speaker Lori Quinn, EdD, PT, is an associate professor in the department of Biobehavioral Sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University. She will discuss her research on the benefits of exercise and physical therapy and whether these interventions can alter the progression of Huntington’s disease. Register here!

Letters of Intent for HDSA’s Human Biology Project due May 22nd

HDSA’s Human Biology Project is the cornerstone of our efforts to support human-centric HD research. Check out what our 2016 and 2017 HD Human Biology Fellows are working on right now! 2018 letters of intent are due by 5 pm EDT on May 22nd.