Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease (HD) is a progressive brain disorder that damages neurons in the central area and at the base of the brain called the basal ganglia. HD causes deterioration in a person’s physical, mental, and emotional abilities, usually during their prime working years, and currently has no cure. Most people start developing symptoms during adulthood, between the ages of 30 to 50, but HD can also occur in children and young adults (known as juvenile HD or JHD). HD is known as a family disease because every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the faulty gene.

Our Research on HD

Our research on HD focuses on understanding the role that unexpected proteins, called repeat associated non-AUG (RAN) proteins, play in the disease. HD is a disease that has traditionally been thought to be caused by the accumulation of a toxic polyglutamine protein but our work has shown that RAN proteins accumulate in HD patient brains. This has opened up new avenues for better understanding of the disease and for developing new therapies

Get Involved with Research

If you would like information about any of the opportunities listed below, please contact Deborah Morrison.


Work in a Lab

Are you a passionate student or post-doc looking making to an impact on Neurogenetic research at the University of Florida? Candidates are encouraged to contact individual CNG faculty members to inquire about research opportunities in the CNG.

three women working side-by-side in the lab

HD researchers at the CNG

Laura P W Ranum
Department: Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

Laura P W Ranum

Kitzman Family Professor Of Molecular Genetics And Microbiology; Director Center For NeuroGenetics
Phone: (352) 294-5209
Monica Banez Coronel
Department: Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

Monica Banez Coronel

Research Assistant Professor
Phone: (352) 294-8966