HDSA’s Donald King Summer Research Fellowship is an opportunity for undergraduates with an interest in Huntington’s disease research to complete an internship in an HD laboratory. Donald King was a tireless advocate who served on HDSA’s Board of Directors between 1999 and 2003 and passed away in 2004.  

This year HDSA’s Scientific Advisory Board selected a record five fellows from all over the USA. Check out our press release for more details.  

· Ms. Sophia Friedman (Wellesley College) will complete her project at the Massachusetts institute of Technology with David Housman, PhD, exploring genes known to alter the onset of HD symptoms.  

· Ms. Amber Keith (University of California at Irvine) will be working under the guidance of Sarah Hernandez, PhD, a 2017 HDSA Berman-Topper Career Development Fellowship recipient, to develop a model of the blood-brain barrier derived from human cells.   

· Mr. Lav Patel (Ohio State University) will spend time in the laboratory of Richard Fishel, PhD, to visualize DNA repair proteins that affect the expansion of CAG repeats.  

· Ms. Tasneem Sadok (University of California at Los Angeles) will work with Lindsay DeBiase, PhD, to study how changes in energy production affect the brain’s support cells in areas vulnerable to HD.  

· Ms. Kadambari Vyas (University of Central Florida) will be mentored by former HDSA Human Biology Fellow Dr. Amber Southwell and will study aggression in mouse models of HD.   

Although some of these students’ summer plans have changed due to COVID-19, all five have worked with their advisors and with HDSA to ensure that their research projects and mentoring relationships will move forward in 2020. We are proud to support the next generation of HD researchers!  


It’s Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month 

May is Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month, so #LetsTalkAboutHD. Post stories, videos, and photos to social media using #LetsTalkAboutHD. All stories are welcome – research included! Together we can spread awareness about Huntington’s disease. Learn more here.  


Gene Veritas Discusses Roche trial 

HD advocate “Gene Veritas” has been writing about his experience with HD for over fifteen years in his blog “At Risk for Huntington’s Disease.” With a large following and connections to industry, he is able to do deep dives into the news of the day and to interview leaders in HD advocacy and research. His most recent post discusses the April community letter from Roche announcing completion of GENERATION-HD1 trial recruitment, as well as news from the February HD therapeutics conference, and how the trial is moving forward despite the COVID-19 pandemic.  


HD Insights Podcast  

The goal of the HD Insights Podcast, created by the Huntington Study Group, is to share in-depth conversations with people shaping HD care and research today. This week’s podcast features a conversation with Dr. Bruce Compas at Vanderbilt University who spoke in late November about research into stress and strategies for resilience in families with Huntington’s disease. He talks about different types of stress and why it affects our physical and mental health, with a focus on research into the brain’s response to stress. He discusses the stress and sacrifice of being a young caretaker in an HD family, and ways to find respite and build resilience. Dr. Compas’s HD research goals are to fully understand the stresses facing families with HD, and ultimately to develop interventions for the most vulnerable. He works alongside Dr. Daniel Claassen who directs the HDSA Center of Excellence at Vanderbilt.