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 culture 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.
Dr. Fox and laboratory personnel at the University of Wyoming study mechanisms of Huntington's disease using mouse models. The major focus of the Fox laboratories efforts is to better understand the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative processes in HD. We hope our work will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms of HD, as well as related diseases, and eventually contribute to the development of effective preventive and treatment approaches.
Iron and HD
One of the primary projects in my lab is the study the impact of dietary iron on progression of HD. We have published several papers related to this work and demonstrating that neonatal administration of iron exacerbates HD symptoms in two different mouse models. We are now completing studies to elucidate the mechanism underlying this finding.
Neuroinflammation and HD
We also are involved in a collaboration with Dr. Jason Gigley, an immunologist in the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Wyoming. The goal of this collaboration is the study the role of the immune system, and specifically neuroinflammation, on HD processes.
BSc, University of Liverpool
BVSc, University of Liverpool
PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Research Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard University
Neuroanatomy for medical students, WWAMI program
Diseases of Food Animals and Horses