New Funding for the Future of Huntington Disease Research in Canada

Brain Canada joins the Huntington Society of Canada to fund seven undergraduate student fellowships

Huntington disease (HD) is a hereditary, neurodegenerative illness with physical, cognitive and mental health symptoms. It is caused by a mutation in the gene that makes the protein called huntingtin. To date, there are no drugs to slow or stop the progression of Huntington disease; however, there are specific drugs available to reduce some of the symptoms. Research is being conducted in Canada and globally to find promising treatments and approaches to treating HD.

The purpose of the 2024 Undergraduate Student Fellowships is two-fold: first, to attract the brightest young scientists into the field of HD research and secondly, to facilitate meaningful HD research to clarify the biological mechanisms underlying HD pathology. Brain Canada and the Huntington Society of Canada are pleased to announce the seven recipients of the 2024 Fellowships.

“We are excited to support the brightest young minds in Huntington’s disease research, paving the way for a better future for those affected by HD in Canada. The global goal of HD research is to discover treatments that can reverse, slow, or prevent the progression of the disease. We are proud to collaborate with the Huntington Society of Canada to find these solutions.”

Dr. Viviane Poupon, President and CEO of Brain Canada

The Fellowships offer undergraduate university students across Canada the opportunity to pursue an HD research project that can be conducted over a 12-week period, between May and September. Fellowship recipients, working under the supervision of senior HD scientists, will undertake a project that is focused and achievable in a short timeframe, yet helpful in guiding future HD research. Applications are accepted between February and April each year.

“Our vision is a world free from Huntington disease. With this new cohort of determination and skill, I have no doubt that we are that much closer to making HD history.”

Shelly Redman, CEO of the Huntington Society of Canada

Introducing the 2024 recipients:

$5000 CAD awarded to Isabel Gibson, McMaster University

Analysis of N6FFA levels in HD human cells and knockout lines by the use of immunofluorescence and expansion microscopy

$5000 CAD awarded to Gabriel Gonzales Vargas, University of Guelph

$5000 CAD awarded to Christiana Kennedy, Memorial University

Atypical NMDA receptors in Huntington’s disease

$5000 CAD awarded to Jenni Nguyen, University of British Columbia

$5000 CAD awarded to Mikaela Perron, University of Manitoba

Tracing the origin of the somatic repeat instability-related cellular phenotype in HD

$5000 CAD awarded to Ashleen Phandar, University of British Columbia

Characterization of HD Brain Tissues with Loss-of-Interruption (LOI) Modifier Variants