Researchers from Canada and United Kingdom awarded prestigious grant.

New York, NY (May 31, 2019) — The Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) is pleased to announce that Lauren Byrne (University College London) and Dr. Nicholas Caron (University of British Columbia) have been awarded HDSA Berman-Topper Family HD Career Development Fellowships for 2019.

These prestigious fellowships, made possible due to generosity of the Berman and Topper families and CHDI Foundation, provide up to $80,000 of funding per year for three years to young scientists and clinicians who desire to make Huntington’s disease (HD) part of their long-term career plan.

“On behalf of the Topper and Berman families, I would like to congratulate Dr. Caron and Ms. Byrne on being named 2019 recipients of this fellowship,” said Michael Berman. “I am confident that our investment in these two outstanding young scientists will yield meaningful scientific progress and more hope for our HD community.”

HDSA received applications from researchers from all around the world for this competitive grant. Dr. Caron’s project will investigate novel ways to enhance the delivery of huntingtin lowering antisense oligonucleotides across the blood-brain barrier. The research of Lauren Byrne will better prepare the field for future disease prevention studies by researching how early in life we can detect changes in the neurofilament light (NfL) protein in persons with the HD mutation, as well as animal models of the disease.

“The passion and dedication of Lauren and Nick for the HD community, coupled with their innovative research proposals made them perfect recipients for this prestigious fellowship. Their work will undoubtedly move us closer to better understanding HD so that disease modifying therapies for this hideous disease become a reality,” said George Yohrling, PhD, Senior Director, Mission and Scientific Affairs at HDSA.

# # #

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. Each child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the faulty gene that causes HD. Today, there are over 30,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at-risk of inheriting the disease. The symptoms of HD are described 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 HD. From community services and education to advocacy and research, HDSA is the world’s leader in providing help for today and hope for tomorrow for people with HD and their families. To learn more about Huntington’s disease and the work of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, visit or call 1-800-345-HDSA.



Christopher Cosentino

Director of Marketing & Communications

(212) 242-1968 ext. 229