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.

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.

Caroline Casey

Caroline is a Wellcome Trust PhD student at UCL Institute of Neurology. She graduated with a degree in Neuroscience with Industrial Experience from The University of Manchester in 2015, during which time she also completed a year of research experience at The Mayo Clinic, Florida. Her interests lie in the field of neurodegeneration as a result of her previous projects which focused on Alzheimer’s Disease. Having also conducted studies on stem cells, Caroline joined the Tabrizi lab to undertake a PhD project that combined her two specialities. For her PhD, Caroline is using iPSC-derived neurons to recapitulate the cortico-striatal pathway which is disrupted in HD. The aim of the project is to gain a better understanding of cortico-striatal dysfunction in HD; Caroline hopes her findings will contribute towards developing novel therapies for the disease.

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.

Stefanie Gosling

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.

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.

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.

Grace O’Regan

Grace is an MRC-funded PhD student at the UCL Institute of Neurology. She studied Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 2015, having completed a number of research projects. Specifically she undertook research into the gene regulatory interactions that underlie the early development of the cerebral cortex, investigations into the relationship between the blood brain barrier and the immune system, as well as analysis of the efficacy of intranasal application of drugs for social anxiety.

For her PhD Grace is now investigating the role of huntingtin in innate immune cells as a modifier of HD. It is hoped that this work will improve our understanding of the innate immune system in HD pathogenesis and identify possible therapeutic opportunities.

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