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Research supported by HSC 1998-2007

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Research supported by HSC 1998-2007 Powered By Docstoc
					                                 HSC Research Awards
NAVIGATOR Research Awards
These awards provide ongoing funding for scientific research of direct and immediate relevance
to Huntington disease. They are awarded to senior researchers.
Began in 1998.

Landmark Graduate Awards
Provide pre-doctoral training opportunities for outstanding scientific and clinical investigators in
areas of immediate relevance to Huntington disease.
Began in 1998, ended in 2007.

Laura’s Hope Fund Awards
The Laura’s Hope Fund was established by Warren and Arlene Evans to honour their daughter
Laura who passed away from Huntington disease in 2001. It symbolizes the Evans’ conviction
that a cure for HD is within our reach. The mandate of the Fund is to advance clinical research in
Canada and internationally that will accelerate the development and testing of potential new
compounds for Huntington disease.

Clinical Research
Cultivating excellence in clinical care for HD, including our understanding of the psychosocial
dimensions of the disesase, while building the Canadian infrastructure for clinical investigation
and for delivering new therapies to patients.


Projects Supported in 2007-2008

NAVIGATOR Research Grant
• Dr. Michael Hayden, University of British Columbia
  The Role of Huntingtin Phosphorylation (phosphate) in the Pathogenesis of HD


Projects Supported in 2006-2007

Special Initiative (continued from 2004-2005)
• Dr. Blair Leavitt, University of British Columbia.
   Translational Research on Excitotoxicity to Accelerate Therapeutics for Huntington Disease
   (TREAT-HD)


NAVIGATOR Research Grant
• Dr. Michael Hayden, University of British Columbia (continued from 2004-2005)
  The Role of Huntingtin Phosphorylation on Serine 421 (pS421) in the Pathogenesis of HD




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•   Dr. Ray Truant, McMaster University (continued from 2005-2006)
    Defining Direct Protein-Protein Interactions with Huntingtin Relevant to Huntington’s
    Disease

•   Dr. Francesca Cicchetti, Laval University, Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences
    In depth analysis of graft implants in a Huntington’s disease patient: lead into long-term
    graft survival, development and connectivity

•   Dr. Simonetta Sipione, University of Alberta (continued from 2005-2006)
    Cholesterol Metabolism in Huntington’s Disease

Landmark Graduate Awards:
• Mr. Herman Fernandez, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia
   (continued from 2004-2005)
   Modulation of NMDA Receptor and Mitochondrial Function by Mutant Huntingtin in a
   Transgenic Mouse Model of Huntington’s Disease

•   Jeffrey Carroll, University of British Columbia (continued from 2005-2006)
    Modulating Excitotoxicity in an Animal Model of HD.

Laura’s Hope Award
Dr. Penelope-Hogarth, Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon.
Tauroursodeoxycholic acid in Huntington’s disease (TUDCA-HD).
A joint award with The Huntington Study Group to test novel therapeutic agents in individuals
with Huntington disease, and to cultivate new investigators for future Huntington Study Group
clinical trials.

Projects Supported in 2005-2006
Special Initiative
• Dr. Blair Leavitt, University of British Columbia. (continued from 2004-2005)
   Translational Research on Excitotoxicity to Accelerate Therapeutics for Huntington Disease
   (TREAT-HD)

NAVIGATOR Research Grants:
• Dr. Simonetta Sipione, University of Alberta
  Cholesterol Metabolism in Huntington’s Disease

•   Dr. Michael Hayden, University of British Columbia (continued from 2004-2005)
    The Role of Huntingtin Phosphorylation on Serine 421 (pS421) in the Pathogenesis of HD

•   Dr. Ray Truant, McMaster University
    Defining Direct Protein-Protein Interactions with Huntingtin Relevant to Huntington’s
    Disease




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Landmark Graduate Awards:
• Mr. Herman Fernandez, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia
   Modulation of NMDA Receptor and Mitochondrial Function by Mutant Huntingtin in a
   Transgenic Mouse Model of Huntington’s Disease
   (continued from 2004)

•   Jeffrey Carroll, University of British Columbia
    Modulating Excitotoxicity in an Animal Model of HD.

Laura’s Hope Award
• Dr. Penelope-Hogarth, Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon.
   Tauroursodeoxycholic acid in Huntington’s disease (TUDCA-HD).
   A joint award with The Huntington Study Group to test novel therapeutic agents in
   individuals with Huntington disease, and to cultivate new investigators for future Huntington
   Study Group clinical trials.

Travel Grant
A travel grant was awarded to Laura Wagner, a student at the University of British Columbia,
working on SiRNA Technology in the treatment of HD, to attend a research conference. Funds
were granted through the Landmark program. This small investment will go a long way towards
encouraging students in their work in HD research.


Projects Supported in 2003-2004 and 2004-2005
Special Initiative
• Dr. Blair Leavitt, University of British Columbia
   Translational Research on Excitotoxicity to Accelerate Therapeutics for Huntington Disease
   (TREAT-HD)

NAVIGATOR Research Grants:
• Dr. Blair Leavitt, University of British Columbia
  Support for the Centre for Experimental Therapeutics in Animal Models

•   Dr. Michael Hayden, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, University of British
    Columbia
    Phosphorylation of Huntingtin on Serine 421 (pS421) by AKT: its role in the pathogenesis of
    HD

•   Dr. Janice Braun, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Calgary
    Association of N-Type Calcium Channels with Huntingtin (EXP), and Huntingtin (NONEXP)

Landmark Graduate Awards:
• Ms. Haibei Hu, Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University
   Investigating the mechanism of transcription dysregulation in Huntington disease transgenic
   mice


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•   Mr. Herman Fernandez, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia
    Modulation of NMDA Receptor and Mitochondrial Function by Mutant Huntingtin in a
    Transgenic Mouse Model of Huntington’s Disease

•   Mr. Jeremy Van Raamsdonk, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, University of
    British Columbia
    Characterization and Treatment of Mouse Models of Huntington Disease

•   Mr. Maxime Philibert, Université de Montréal á Québec (continued from 2002)
    Attention and Interference in Huntington Disease


Laura’s Hope Fund Awards
Fall 2003
• Dr. Blair Leavitt, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, University of British
   Columbia
   Modulating Huntingtin Levels as a Potential Therapeutic Approach for Huntington disease.

•   Dr. Eileen Denovan-Wright, Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University
    Reduction of Mutant Huntingtin By Anti-Huntingtin Ribozymes and SiRNA in Transgenic
    Mice

Clinical Research
• Dr. Ira Shoulson, Huntington Study Group (renewed each year since 1999)

    The Huntington Society of Canada has been a proud supporter of the Huntington Study
    Group (HSG), an international group of investigators working to identify and test potential
    new treatments for HD.

    This year, our support of the HSG helps to develop the Huntington Project (HP), a
    comprehens ive and collaborative research effort to develop treatments that make a difference
    for HD. The HP seeks to exploit the growing foundation of scientific information about HD
    and efficiently apply this knowledge to clinical trials aimed at slowing the progression or
    postponing the onset of HD. Shared resources and cooperative planning are pivotal to the
    success of the Project.


Laura’s Hope Fund Awards
Fall 2004
Dr. Penelope-Hogarth, Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon.
Tauroursodeoxycholic acid in Huntington’s disease (TUDCA-HD).
A joint award with The Huntington Study Group to test novel therapeutic agents in individuals
with Huntington disease, and to cultivate new investigators for future Huntington Study Group
clinical trials.

Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) is a bile acid synthesized in the liver by the conjugation of
taurine to ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). It is thought to function as an anti-apoptotic agent in

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HD, evidenced by studies in toxic cell models and both toxic and transgenic rodent models of the
disease. The compound has been targeted as one of several high-priority drugs for development
by the SET-HD (Systematic Evaluation of Treatment for Huntington disease) initiative


Projects supported 2002-2003

NAVIGATOR Research Grants:
• We continued to support the work of Dr. Blair Leavitt in the Centre for Experimental
  Therapeutics in Animal Models at the University of British Columbia, both through
  supporting the laboratory, and through support of a research project on Calpain Inhibitors as
  Potential Therapeutic Agents in HD.

•   Dr. Ray Truant, McMaster University (continued from 2001)
    Co-Visualization of Huntingtin and Huntingtin-Associated Proteins in Living Striatal Cells.

•   Dr. Susan Andrew, University of Alberta (continued from 2000)
    The role of FEN1 in CAG instability

•   Dr. Martin Lepage, McGill University
    Memory retrieval and fronto-striatal dysfunction in Huntington disease: An fMRI study,

Landmark Graduate Awards:
• Renewal of a final third year investment through the Landmark Graduate Awards program to
   Simon Warby, working with Dr. Michael Hayden at UBC, on Neurotrophic factor
   dysregulation in Huntington disease; and Susan Crocker, working with Dr. Harold Robertson
   at Dalhousie University, on Investigation of changes in gene expression in Huntington
   disease: Effects of Minocycline. (Funding began in 2000)

•   Maxime Philibert, University of Montreal at Quebec
    Attention and Interference in Huntington Disease

Clinical Research
• Dr. Ira Shoulson, Huntington Study Group (renewed each year since 1999)
   This international group of researchers is working to identify and test potential new
   treatments for HD.

Travel Grant:
A travel grant was awarded to enable two Canadian students to attend The Gordon Conference
on Trinucleotide Repeat Disorders, held in Italy in May 2003. Funds were granted through the
NAVIGATOR program, and through the Laura’s Hope Fund. With this grant, two Canadian
student investigators working in pre-clinical HD research were able to attend this internationa l
conference and present papers on their research. This small investment will go a long way
towards encouraging students in their work in HD research.




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Projects Supported in 2001-2002

NAVIGATOR Research Grants:
• At the University of British Columbia, Dr. Blair Leavitt received a grant to help establish the
  Centre for Experimental Therapeutics in Animal Models of Human Disease, thanks to a
  special gift from TELUS Community Connections. An additional grant supported Dr.
  Leavitt’s work, which involves testing therapeutic compounds on mouse models of HD. It is
  anticipated that promising new treatments that are effective in mice will be rapidly evaluated
  for use in human clinical trials.

•   Dr. Ray Truant, McMaster University
    Co-Visualization of Huntingtin and Huntingtin-Associated Proteins in Living Striatal Cells
    Dr. Truant can actually see how huntingtin moves into the nucleus of a living brain cell by
    using a very sophisticated microscope (one of a kind in Canada), built in part by the
    Huntington Society’s NAVIGATOR Coalition grant.

•   Dr. Susan Andrew, University of Alberta (continued from 2000)
    The role of FEN1 in CAG instability

Landmark Graduate Awards
• Simon Warby, University of British Columbia (working with Dr. Michael Hayden)
   Neurotrophic factor dysregulation in Huntington disease
   (Continued from 2000)

•   Susan Crocker, Dalhousie University (working with Dr. Harold Robertson)
    Investigation of changes in gene expression in Huntington disease: Effects of Minocycline.
    (Continued from 2000)

Clinical Research:
• Dr. Ira Shoulson, Huntington Study Group (renewed each year since 1999)
   The Huntington Society of Canada was a founding partner of the Huntington Study Group.


Projects Supported 2000-2001

NAVIGATOR Research Awards:
• Dr. Susan Andrew, University of Alberta
  The role of FEN1 in CAG instability

•   Dr. Edmond Chan, University of British Columbia (continued from 1998)

•   Dr. Samuel Weiss of the University of Calgary is a pioneer in the field of stem cell research
    and Dr. Tetsuro Shingo (Huntington Society/Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellow)
    is working with Dr. Weiss to see whether transplanted neural stem cells can be used to


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    generate new neurons in brains affected by Huntington disease. Stem cell research is widely
    recognized to have unprecedented therapeutic implications.

Landmark Graduate Awards:
• Simon Warby, University of British Columbia (working with Dr. Michael Hayden)
   Neurotrophic factor dysregulation in Huntington disease

•   Susan Crocker, Dalhousie University (working with Dr. Harold Robertson)
    Investigation of changes in gene expression in Huntington disease: Effects of Minocycline.

Clinical Research:
Our support for the Huntington Study Group helps to power the investigation and clinical testing
of potential new treatments for HD. Altho ugh the results of the CARE-HD trial, which tested
remacemide and coenzyme Q-10, were disappointing, the Huntington Study Group is pursuing a
range of other therapeutic options, including minocycline and creatine. The Huntington Society
of Canada was a founding partner of the Huntington Study Group and our ongoing commitment
to this international research consortium helps to ensure that this important work will continue to
move forward as quickly as possible.

Projects Supported in 1999-2000

NAVIGATOR Research Grants:
• Dr. Edmond Chan, University of British Columbia
  Dr. Chan is using the recently developed YAC mouse model of HD to search for genes (other
  than the HD gene itself) whose expression is altered in HD.
  (continued from 1998)

•   Dr. Geraldine MacGibbon, University of Halifax
    Using animal models to study gene expression in different types of neurons, work which will
    help to define the mechanisms that lead to cell death in HD.
    (continued from 1998)

Landmark Graduate Award:
John Rubinstein, MRC Laboratory of Molecular, Cambridge, England (under supervision of Dr.
John Walker, winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
Using an electron microscopy to develop a three-dimensional model of “complex I” a
mitochondrial protein which may be defective in cells affected by HD.

Clinical Research:
Huntington Study Group (continued from 1999)


Projects Supported in 1998-1999
•   First year of the NAVIGATOR Research Program




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•   First NAVIGATOR Research Awards presented to Dr. Michael Hayden, University of
    British Columb ia, and Dr. Alan Boulton of the University of Saskatchewan to pursue
    innovative directions in HD science.

•   The first Clinical Research Group award to the Huntington Study Group, an international
    consortium pursuing clinical trials of new drugs and studies of the natural history of HD

•   First partnership awards: the HSC/Medical Research Council Fellowship to Dr. Geraldine
    McGibbon (Dalhousie University) and the HSC/ Canadian Genetic Diseases Network
    Fellowship to Dr. Edmond Chan (UBC)

•   First MAP Conference Grant to support a scientific symposium, in collaboration with the
    Hereditary Disease Foundation and the Huntington Disease Society of America.

•   First E.T.A. Grants to promote Canadian participation at international research conferences.




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