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Huntington’s Disease Society of America awards 2023 

Berman-topper Family HD Career Development Fellowship 

researcher from VANCOUVER awarded prestigious grant 


New York, NY, May 24, 2023 The Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Chris Kay (The University of British Columbia) has been awarded the HDSA Berman-Topper Family HD Career Development Fellowship for 2023.   

This fellowship, made possible in part by the generosity of the Berman and Topper families, provides up to $80,000 of funding per year for three years to postdoctoral scientists and clinicians who desire to make Huntington’s disease (HD) part of their long-term career plan.  HDSA received applications from researchers from all around the world for this competitive grant.   

“I’d like to congratulate Dr. Kay on receiving this fellowship,” said Michael Berman. “His focus on a topic of emerging importance in HD research, in addition to a unique background and strong mentorship, make him well-positioned to contribute to our understanding of HD alongside past recipients who have emerged as field leaders.”  

Dr. Kay’s project is entitled Quantitative Assessment of CAG Repeat Expansion and RAN Protein Production in HD Brain Tissue with CAG-CCG Modifier Variants. “Chris will investigate important questions about CAG repeats in the HD gene through his access to a unique and precious set of human brain tissues,” said Dr. Leora Fox, Assistant Director of Research and Patient Engagement at HDSA. “He is approaching the project with expertise and compassion, as well as an eye towards future therapeutic development.”  

“Chris brings a unique perspective to his work, informed by his experience both in and outside of the lab,” said Dr. Arik Johnson, Chief Mission Officer at HDSA. “We were all impressed by the strength of his proposal and the potential impact of his research, and we look forward to seeing what he does in this fellowship.” 


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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 41,000 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.