The Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) is pleased to announce that a ninth research grant has been awarded under the Society’s largest research initiative, the HDSA Huntington’s Disease Human Biology Project.  The latest recipient is Dr. Daniel Wilton from Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Wilton will be working under the guidance of Dr. Beth Stevens on a project entitled: “The role of complement and synaptic loss in driving disease progression in Huntington’s disease.”  This research was made possible by the kind generosity of the Dake Family Foundation (Saratoga Springs, NY).

With the addition of Dr. Wilton’s project, HDSA has committed $870,000 to the Human Biology Project in 2014. These research projects emphasize the importance of bringing basic and clinical researchers together to facilitate Huntington’s disease (HD) science beyond animal models and into the human condition with the participation of HD patients.

The 9 winners and titles of the 2014 HDSA HD Human Biology Project Grants are:

  • Dr. Barbara Calamini, Research Scientist, Duke University: Human Stem Cell-Derived Neuromuscular Co-culture Platform for Assessing Peripheral Manifestation of Huntington’s Disease, Amy Bradshaw Humphrey Memorial Award Winner
  • Dr. Dawn Loh, Research Associate, UCLA: At-Home Monitoring of Sleep/Wake Cycles of Huntington’s Disease Patients, Amy Bradshaw Humphrey Memorial Award Winner
  • Eleni Mina, PhD Candidate, Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands: A Novel Systems Medicine Approach for HD Biomarker and Therapeutic Target Discovery
  • Dr. Shihao Shen, Post-doctoral Fellow, UCLA: Transcriptome Isoform Networks in Huntington’s Disease
  • Dr. Eun Young Kim, Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Iowa: Developing a Robust Segmentation Pipeline that Allows for Consistent Trajectory Estimation of Huntington’s Disease Gene Positive Individuals  Across Multiple Longitudinal MRI sites
  • Dr. Sonia Podvin, Post-doctoral Fellow, University of California at San Diego: Proximal Mutant Huntingtin Protein Interactions that Occur in a Polyglutamine Length-Dependent Manner in Human HD Brains
  • Dr. Giulia Cisbani, Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Laval (Quebec): Microvesicles: Biomarker and Vehicle for the Propagation of Mutant Huntingtin Protein
  • Dr. Alexander Buntru, Post-doctoral Fellow, Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine (Berlin, Germany):Development of a Novel FRET-based HTT Aggregation Assay as a Diagnostic Tool for Huntington’s Disease
  • Dr. Daniel Wilton, Post-doctoral Fellow, Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School: The role of complement and synaptic loss in driving disease progression in Huntington’s disease

For a complete summary of Dr. Wilton’s and the other eight Human Biology Projects, please visit