UCL HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE RESEARCH

INFORMATION FOR SCIENTISTS, CLINICIANS, PATIENTS, RELATIVES AND CARERS

UCL HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE RESEARCH

THE HD RESEARCH TEAM

Principal Investigators

Sarah J Tabrizi

As Professor of Clinical Neurology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square London, Sarah Tabrizi leads the HD clinic and the HD research team. She has a wide range of research interests in HD, from clinical and translational research to basic science. She is the global Principal Investigator of the TRACK-HD study as well as leading all our UCL HD research projects (see the list on the left). Sarah’s work was recently featured in The Lancet click here to read more.

Edward Wild

Ed is an MRC Clinician Scientist at UCL Institute of Neurology and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. His research focuses on the study of cerebrospinal fluid to understand HD and assist in the development and testing of new treatments. Ed graduated from Christ’s College, Cambridge University in 2001 and has worked in clinical neurology and HD research since 2005. His PhD research on biomarkers and inflammation in HD won him the 2009 Queen Square Prize in Neurology. In 2010 Ed co-founded HDBuzz, an online source of reliable, impartial, easy-to-understand information about HD research, for which he was awarded the 2012 Community Leadership Award from the Huntington Society of Canada and the 2014 Research Prize from the Huntington’s Disease Society of Americal Ed has authored 6 book chapters and over 50 peer-reviewed publications. He is considered a key opinion leader in Huntington’s disease and serves on the advisory panel to the Huntington’s Disease Association and the steering committee to the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Huntington’s disease. He is @DrEdWild on Twitter.

Team members

Ralph Andre

Ralph is a Senior Research Fellow at the UCL Institute of Neurology, he is a cell and molecular biologist studying the processes in cells that lead to HD. Ralph graduated with a degree in Biology at the University of Manchester in 2001, followed by a PhD in 2004 in which he worked on inflammation and cerebral ischaemia. In 2006, he joined the Department of Neurodegenerative Disease at UCL Institute of Neurology to study the cell biology of prion diseases, subsequently joining the HD team in 2010. His current work focuses on neural-immune interactions in HD and the development of new stem cell models to better understand the disease.

Stefanie Brown

Stefanie is a Clinical Research Nurse at UCL Institute of Neurology. After completing her Diploma in Adult Nursing Stefanie has worked in Accident and Emergency for one year and the Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit at St. Georges for three and a half years. Stefanie joined the HD research Group in May 2013 to work on the Multiple Tissue Molecular Signatures in HD study and future clinical trials.

Lauren Byrne

Lauren is a research assistant to Dr Ed Wild for the HD-CSF study. She studied Biology at Imperial College London, graduating in 2014 and recently completed her masters in Translational Neurology at UCL Institute of Neurology. During her masters she carried out a research project with the HD imaging team measuring microstructural brain changes occurring after a brain training pilot study in HD patients. She is interested in the mutant huntingtin protein and hopes to complete a PhD in HD research.

Helen Crawford

Helen is currently a PhD student at UCL Institute of Neurology. Helen first joined the HD Research Group as a Research Assistant back in 2011 and was responsible for the structural image analysis of MRI scans collected as part of the Track-HD study. With a background in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, as well as Neuroimaging Helen is interested in both the structural and functional correlates of neurodegenerative disease. In her PhD Helen is using various imaging and neuropsychological techniques to further her understanding of the underlying biology of HD with the ultimate goal of benefitting future early intervention.

Lucianne Dobson

Lucianne is a PhD student at UCL Institute of Neurology. She studied Neuroscience at UCL and graduated in 2011 after completing two projects on the modulation of microglial responses by neurotransmitters and neuropeptides during neuroinflammation. For her PhD Lucianne is now investigating the interactions between neurons and myeloid cells in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, with a particular focus on HD. It is hoped that this will lead to the development of cellular models to test modifying therapies.

Michael Flower

Michael is a Clinical Research Fellow at the UCL Institute of Neurology and an Honorary Specialist Registrar in Neurology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. He graduated from Cambridge University in 2009 and worked in clinical medicine and neurology. He joined the HD research team in 2015 and studies the genetics and cell biology of Huntington’s disease, as well as working on clinical trials.

Sarah Gregory

Sarah is a Research Fellow at UCL Institute of Neurology. She gained a first degree in Psychology and completed her PhD in forensic neuroscience at King’s College London examining morphology, connectivity and function in Antisocial Personality Disorder and Psychopathy using MRI. She joined the TrackOn-HD project in 2012 and is currently investigating compensation and network connectivity using resting-state fMRI and DTI.

Davina Hensman

Davina is a Clinical Research Fellow at UCL Institute of Neurology and an Honorary Specialist Registrar in Neurology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. She graduated with a Biological Sciences degree from the University of Oxford in 2002 before studying Medicine at St George’s, University of London from where she graduated in 2007. She joined the team in November 2011 as the London-based clinician in the TrackOn-HD team.

Temi Ibitoye

Temi is a Research Assistant at UCL Institute of Neurology. After completing her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at King’s College London in 2014, she has been working in neurodegenerative disease research. She previously worked at the Wolfson Centre for Age Related Diseases and at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience where she was involved in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease research. She joined the Huntington’s Disease Research Group in November 2015 to work on the HD-Brain Train study and clinical Trials. She hopes to complete a PhD in the future.

Eileanoir Johnson

Eileanoir is a Research Assistant at UCL Institute of Neurology. She joined the Track-HD team in September 2012 to conduct analyses on the structural brain scans. Eileanoir has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is interested in both the psychological and the neuroimaging aspects of Huntington’s Disease.

Carolin Koriath

Carolin is a Leonard Wolfson clinical fellow at UCL Institute of Neurology and an Honorary Specialist Registrar in Neurology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. She studied Medicine at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich and worked as a Neurology registrar at the University Hospital of Munich with a focus on vertigo and oculomotor disorders. Carolin joined the team in 2015 and has a special interest in the genetics of dementia and Huntington’s Disease phenocopy syndromes, carrying out research with next-generation sequencing techniques in collaboration with Prof Simon Mead.

Monica Lewis

Monica is a senior clinical trials coordinator at UCL Institute of Neurology. She graduated in Edinburgh with a Neuroscience degree and has a Masters degree in Psychology. Monica has worked on clinical trials at UCL since 2007 and joined the Huntington’s Disease Research Group in September 2011 to coordinate the REGISTRY study and clinical trials .

Peter McColgan

Peter is a Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellow at the UCL Institute of Neurology and an Honorary Specialist Registrar in Neurology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. He graduated with a degree in engineering from UCL and an MSc. in Physiology from Trinity College Dublin before studying Medicine at Queen’s University Belfast. Peter is the lead neurologist on the A8241021 Amaryllis study and carries out research in HD using advanced neuroimaging techniques.

James Miller

James is an MBPhD student at UCL Institute of Neurology, he is taking time out of a medical degree to do a PhD in Professor Tabrizi’s lab. He received a Neuroscience degree from UCL in 2012, having completed a research project on the intracellular signalling pathways that are involved in pain. James is investigating the role of the immune system as a disease modifier in HD, and it is hoped that this will lead to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease in addition to opening up the possibility of new therapeutic strategies.

Gail Owen

Gail has been involved in clinical research since 1995, and before joining the UCL Institute of Neurology worked both in industry and with the military. She graduated in psychology and has a PhD in biomedical sciences. She joined the HD research team in 2009, and is clinical trial manager for Dr Wild’s HDClarity study.

Marina Papoutsi

Marina is a Research Fellow at UCL Institute of Neurology. She has a BA(Hons) degree in Linguistics (University of Athens, GR) followed by MSc degrees in Cognitive Science and Neuroinformatics (University of Edinburgh). For her PhD (University of Edinburgh in collaboration with NIDCD/NIH) she examined the role of the LIFG (aka Broca’s area) in articulation using fMRI. As a post-doc at  the University of Cambridge she examined functional brain re-organization in speech comprehension following acquired brain damage (e.g. stroke) and in healthy ageing. She joined the Track-HD team in December 2011 and is interested in cortical re-organization as a biomarker for HD in premanifest patients.

Nicola Robertson

Nicola is a Research Assistant at UCL Institute of Neurology. After completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Neuroscience, Nicola worked as a Research Assistant in the Leicester Cancer Research Network. Nicola joined the Huntington’s Disease Research group in September 2011 to work on the REGISTRY study and clinical trials.

Rachael Scahill

Rachael is a Senior Research Fellow at UCL Institute of Neurology. After a first degree in Zoology and an MSc in Computing, she completed a PhD at UCL examining early changes in patients with Alzheimer’s disease using structural MRI. She joined the TRACK-HD project in 2008 where she leads the imaging team. Her research focus is the development of imaging techniques to identify the earliest structural changes in HD and to track disease progression with the aim of investigating MRI as a potential biomarker.

Updated December 13, 2015