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Bates Lab

Professor Gill Bates obtained a first class BSc in Genetics from Sheffield University in 1979 and an MSc in Biomolecular Organisation from Birkbeck College in 1984. Her interest in human genetics, and the possibilities of identifying the mutations causing genetic diseases, led her to Bob Williamson’s Department at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School as a research assistant in 1983, where she then carried out her PhD on the molecular genetics of cystic fibrosis. In 1987, she moved to Hans Lehrach’s laboratory at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, as a postdoctoral fellow, to work on Huntington’s disease (HD). The Lehrach lab was working toward the identification of the HD mutation as a part of an international collaborative research group under the umbrella of the Hereditary Disease Foundation, led by Nancy Wexler. Bates led a small group that performed the physical mapping and large scale cloning for this combined endeavour, which led, in 1993, to the identification of the HD mutation as a CAG repeat expansion. In 1994, Bates moved to the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at the United Medical and Dental Schools as a Senior Lecturer to establish her independent research group investigating the molecular basis of Huntington’s disease. Her lab published the first mouse models of HD in 1996, which, with Stephen Davies, led to the identification of HTT inclusions in 1997, and in 1998, the first indication of transcriptional dysregulation in HD by Jang Ho Cha. Bates became Professor of Neurogenetics at King’s College London in 1998 and Head of the Division of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at KCL in 2011. In 2016, she moved her lab to the Institute of Neurology at University College London to establish the Huntington’s Disease Centre with Professor Sarah Tabrizi. She is Professor of Molecular Neuroscience at the Institute of Neurology and the UCL Dementia Research Institute, Co-Director of the Huntington’s Disease Centre and Vice-Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Brain Sciences. She was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1999, the European Molecular Biology Organisation in 2002 and the Royal Society in 2007.

Tabrizi Lab

Professor Sarah Tabrizi graduated with first class honours in Biochemistry, then studied medicine at Edinburgh University where she was awarded the 1992 Leslie Gold Medal for the most distinguished medical graduate. During her time as a trainee neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), Queen Square, Sarah worked for Professors Anita Harding and David Marsden, both of whom would make a lasting impression on her. She undertook an MRC Clinical Training Fellowship PhD studying mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegeneration with Tony Schapira and Gill Bates from 1996-1999, and it was during this time that Sarah developed a passion for Huntington’s disease (HD) research. Sarah obtained a prestigious Department of Health National Clinician Scientist Fellowship at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology in 2002, was promoted to UCL Clinical Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Neurologist in 2003, to Reader in 2007 and Full Professor in 2009. Sarah is Director of the UCL Huntington’s Disease Centre, which she co-founded with Professor Gill Bates in 2016, and Joint Head of Department Neurodegenerative Disease at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology. Since 2003, she has led a highly effective and innovative clinical service for patients and families with Huntington’s disease at the NHNN.

In addition to basic bench science, which focuses on basic cellular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Huntington’s disease (HD), she also leads a large translational research programme in HD that is working towards finding effective disease-modifying treatments. Sarah has published over 300 peer-reviewed publications to date and her research work has been the subject of articles in NEJM, The Economist, Scientific American, and The Lancet. She serves on several panels including the UK HD association, the European HD Network and NINDS/NIH. She co-founded, with Sir Michael Rawlins, the UK All Party Parliamentary Group for HD in 2010. In 2014, she was elected a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. In 2017 she received the seventh Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science awarded by the Hereditary Disease Foundation. In 2018 she was appointed as a Principal Investigator at the UK Dementia Research Institute Hub, and received the Cotzias Award from the Spanish Society of Neurology. In 2019 she received the Yahr Award at the World Congress for Neurology and the Alexander Morison Medal from the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

Basic Science Laboratory 

  • Dr Rob Goold - Research Fellow
  • Dr Mike Flower - Academic Clinical Lecturer
  • Marwa Elmasri - Senior Research Technician
  • Jessica Olive - Junior Research Technician
  • Joseph Hamilton - PhD Student
  • Emma Bunting - PhD Student

Experimental Medicine

Wellcome Trust Treat-HD Study

Administrative Team

  • James Behagg - Research Coordinator
  • Hannah Kelly - Personal Assistant
Team Wild

Professor Ed Wild is a clinician scientist and Associate Director of UCL Huntington’s Disease Centre, where he has been a Principal Investigator since 2015.

Ed has authored 6 book chapters and over 80 peer-reviewed journal articles. His team has been central to the discovery and validation of numerous biofluid biomarkers for Huntington’s including mutant huntingtin and neurofilament light proteins and has twice been awarded Huntington Study Group Insight of the Year awards.

Ed is the global Chief Investigator of the international HDClarity study, the largest cerebrospinal fluid collection in Huntington’s disease. He is also centrally involved in the design and execution of numerous clinical trial programs including the first antisense oligonucleotide huntingtin-lowering trial (tominersen) and others targeting central mechanisms of Huntington’s disease.

Ed serves on the Medical Advisory Panel of the Huntington’s Disease Association, the Association of British Neurologists Neurogenetics Advisory Panel, and the Translational Neurology Panel of the European Academy of Neurology. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Huntington’s Disease and co-Lead Facilitator of the European Huntington’s Disease Network’s Biomarkers Working Group.

In 2010, he co-founded HDBuzz, an online source of reliable, impartial, easy-to-understand information about HD research. In recognition of this and his research contributions, Ed was awarded the 2012 Community Leadership Award by the Huntington Society of Canada and the 2014 Research Award by the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

Ed is @ProfEdWild on Twitter.

Team Wild

Please see the Biomedical research page for further information on the Labs