Huntington’s disease (HD) is a genetically dominant disorder characterized by involuntary movements as well as psychiatric disturbances and cognitive decline. In the United States there are about 30,000 people with HD. We use cell and mouse models of HD to elucidate mechanisms of brain degeneration in this chronic and fatal disease. Findings from our mechanistic studies are used to generate hypotheses relating to potential protective therapeutic interventions. We test these interventions in genetically accurate mouse models of HD. We focus on the role of oxidative stress in HD neurodegeneration. A specific area of interest is the role of dysregulated iron metabolism as a potentiating factor in HD. We are also studying a modulatory role of dietary selenium intake in HD mice. Our goal is to contribute to the accumulating body of scientific understanding that will eventually lead to effective prevention and treatment of human HD and related degenerative diseases.
BSc, University of Liverpool
BVSc, University of Liverpool
PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Research Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard University