The European Huntington’s Disease Network hosts a yearly Plenary meeting to discuss the latest in HD science and clinical trials, which was held virtually in 2020. HDBuzz provided summaries of the talks given at the full-day meeting in September, focusing on scientific sessions and clinical trial updates. Check out their summary, and you can also watch any of the recorded talks on EHDN’s website.
Nobel Prize Awarded to Women Who Discovered CRISPR
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded this week to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna, who discovered the gene editing technology, CRISPR. CRISPR is a technology that has allowed scientists to manipulate genetics in unprecedented ways, opening new doors to the study of gene function and disease. Although CRISPR techniques are unlikely to be used for treating HD in humans in the near future, the technology has allowed HD researchers all over the world to create new models and explore new questions about HD biology. It’s worth noting that Doudna and Charpentier are the first women-only duo to be awarded a Nobel Prize in any category, and only five other women have received a Nobel in Chemistry (of 185 recipients). Hundreds of sources are covering this news; for a technical angle check out Nature magazine.
HDSA SAB Member Featured in The Scientist
Dr. Michelle Gray, a researcher at the University of Alabama, was featured this week in the Scientist to Watch section of The Scientist magazine. She has devoted much of her career to Huntington’s disease, and is known for creating a novel mouse model that has been widely adopted for studying HD genetics, cells, and symptoms. Dr. Gray chaired HDSA’s Scientific Advisory Board between 2012 and 2018 and continues to serve as a core member, providing input on HDSA’s research programs and evaluating submissions several times yearly.