Over the past 15-20 years we have learned that the CAG repeat mutation that causes HD is dynamic – the DNA code isn’t constant, as expected, but tends to expand. This can happen from parent to child (sometimes causing juvenile HD). It can also happen throughout a person’s life in certain cells and organs, like the liver, or the part of the brain affected in HD. It is believed that the expansion of CAG repeats in a person’s cells process can accelerate the onset and progression of HD.

 Our cells can fight this type of damage by continuously repairing damaged DNA. However, when that damage-fighting machinery gets rusty (as it does in HD), that’s when CAG repeats tend to expand. 2017 HDSA Berman-Topper fellow Dr. Tamara Maiuri is studying the repair machinery and how it may be harnessed to delay symptoms. In HDSA’s upcoming research webinar next Wednesday, she and her colleague Dr. Laura Bowie will talk about this topic and their recent work in the laboratory of Dr. Ray Truant at McMaster University.

When: Wednesday, February 20th, 12-1 pm Eastern time

Topic: DNA repair in Huntington’s disease

Presenters: Dr. Tamara Maiuri & Dr. Laura Bowie

Please register here to join us for this webinar!


HDSA Scientific Advisory Board Member Awarded Grant for Stem Cell Research

Dr. Leslie Thompson is a prominent Huntington’s disease researcher at the University of California, Irvine, recently designated an HDSA Center of Excellence.  Dr. Thompson also joined HDSA’s Scientific Advisory Board this year. We are pleased to share the news that she has recently received a 6 million dollar award to continue her critical research on stem cells in HD. Her lab works with stem cells that have been re-programmed from donated patient skin cells, and is also exploring the potential for transplanting stem cells to boost function in the HD brain. Interested in learning more about stem cell research at UC Irvine? Dr. Thompson works closely with Dr. Jack Reidling, who gave an HDSA webinar last year on stem cell research.