For Immediate Release
Contact: Christopher Cosentino, Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: (212) 242-1968 x229


New York, NY (December 7, 2015) – The Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) is now accepting letters of interest for a new research fellowship program specifically designed to develop new scientific leaders in the quest to better treat and one-day cure Huntington’s disease. The Berman/Topper Family Huntington’s Disease Career Development Fellowship is a three-year grant for young scientists to work collaboratively with their mentors and other committed HD health professionals to help develop the fellow into an independent HD leader.

HDSA partnered with the Berman/Topper Family to launch this new program in response to the desperate need for career development mechanisms for young HD researchers and the stagnant budget at the National Institutes of Health, which had been a traditional grant funder of new scientists.

“HDSA is grateful for the partnership of the Berman and Topper Families who share our goal to ensure that the pipeline of passionate and bright HD scientists and clinicians remains full,” said Louise Vetter, Chief Executive Officer at HDSA. “This Career Development Fellowship program is a unique commitment to developing the next generation of passionate and innovative HD scientists.”

”We are excited to work with HDSA to provide an opportunity to attract new minds to the battle against HD.  We hope that each person involved in this program will in some way contribute to greater knowledge of the disease and ultimately to causing a cure,” said Michael Berman, speaking on behalf of the Berman and Topper families.

Scientists and clinicians who are no more than five years removed from obtaining their PhD or completing their residency/fellowship and who are interested in a career in Huntington’s disease research or care are invited to apply for the Berman/Topper Family Huntington’s Disease Career Development Fellowship. Applicants cannot have their own laboratory and must identify an individual who will serve as their mentor and supervisor throughout the duration of the three-year award. Each award three-year award provides up to $80,000/year of which $75,000 is designated for salary and research support, plus an additional $5,000 for travel/education related to the fellowship.

To submit an application to the Berman/Topper Family Huntington’s Disease Career Development Fellowship or to download the detailed Request for Proposal, please visit Completed applications must be received by HDSA no later than Monday, March 14, 2016, at 5:00 pm (EDT). For more information, contact Dr. George Yohrling, HDSA Senior Director, Mission and Scientific Affairs, at

Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It deteriorates a person’s physical and mental abilities during their prime working years and has no cure. HD is known as the quintessential family disease because every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of carrying the faulty gene. Today, there are 30,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at-risk of inheriting the disease. Many describe the symptoms of HD as having ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s – simultaneously.

The Huntington’s Disease Society of America is the premier nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by Huntington’s disease. From community services and education to advocacy and research, HDSA is the world’s leader in providing help for today, hope for tomorrow for people with Huntington’s disease and their families.

To learn more about Huntington’s disease and the work of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, visit or call (800)345-HDSA.


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