ACTSI Pilot Grant Awardee Developed First Transgenic Monkey with Huntington's Disease

ACTSI pilot grant awardee Anthony W.S. Chan, DVM, PhD serves as the PI on a study which developed the first transgenic monkey with Huntington's Disease (HD)."In the past, researchers have used transgenic mouse models to study the disease. These models do not completely parallel the brain changes and behavioral features observed in humans with HD, thus making the development of a transgenic nonhuman primate model critical to currently treating and ultimately preventing the disease," said Dr. Chan. This development is expected to lead to greater understanding of the underlying biology of HD and to the development of potential therapies. The researchers, who are continuing to monitor and assess the transgenic monkeys, believe their progress bodes well for developing transgenic nonhuman primate models of other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's. Collaborators include Emory University, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and the Department of Human Genetics at the Emory School of Medicine. Huntington's Disease (HD) is a genetic, neurodegenerative disorder that causes uncontrolled movements, loss of mental processing capabilities, and emotional disturbances.

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