NEW YORK, Nov. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hereditary Disease Foundation (HDF) held its 50th Anniversary Symposium and Gala at the Metropolitan Club in New York on November 6. Titled "A Celebration of 50 Years of Discovery," the evening included a scientific symposium and a dinner/awards ceremony. Dr. Sarah J. Tabrizi, co-founder and Director of the University College London (UCL) Huntington's Disease Centre at the UCL Institute of Neurology, received the 2017 Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science. Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was the keynote speaker.
Dr. Nancy S. Wexler, President of the Hereditary Disease Foundation, said, "Dr. Tabrizi has channeled her passion for scientific research into discovering ways to prevent or reverse Huntington's disease." She and her superb global team are the principal investigators for the world's first gene silencing trial in Huntington's disease, begun in 2015 and sponsored by Ionis Pharmaceuticals.
Professor Tabrizi, said, "I am honored to receive this award and I am deeply grateful to the Hereditary Disease Foundation and to the Gehry family for their support of research that seeks to improve the lives of people with hereditary diseases such as Huntington's disease."
Professor Tabrizi co-founded the UCL Huntington's Disease Centre in 2016 with Professor Gillian Bates, who won the Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize in 2012 for developing the first mouse model of Huntington's disease.
The Gehry prize was established by Frank and Berta Gehry to honor the memory of his daughter Leslie. The generous prize, bestowed annually, carries an award of $100,000 to support a scientist who exemplifies qualities of inventiveness and imagination in science.
The Milton Wexler Prize was awarded to Berta Gehry and Frank O. Gehry, founding Trustees of the Hereditary Disease Foundation, for their tremendous contribution to the Foundation over the decades.
The Hereditary Disease Foundation
The Hereditary Disease Foundation facilitates collaborative and innovative scientific research to further the understanding of Huntington's disease, a genetic disorder that strikes in early- to mid-adulthood, destroying brain cells, and bringing on severe and progressive declines in personality, cognitive ability, and mobility. As a disease caused by a mistake on a single gene, Huntington's disease is an ideal model for other brain disorders. Research organized by the Foundation led to the discovery of the genetic marker for Huntington's disease in 1983. The Foundation organized and funded a decade-long international collaboration of over 100 scientists who discovered the gene that causes Huntington's in 1993. This work played an important role in the development of the Human Genome Project. For information visit http://www.hdfoundation.org
SOURCE Hereditary Disease Foundation