School of Medicine

Thompson receives funding for Huntington’s disease research

July 29, 2014 — Leslie Thompson, PhD, of the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center has been awarded $505,717 by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to continue her CIRM-funded effort to create stem cell treatments for Huntington’s disease.

In 2010, Thompson, a UC Irvine professor of psychiatry & human behavior and neurobiology & behavior, received a $3.8 million early-stage transitional grant from CIRM to develop a technique using stem cells to support areas of the brain susceptible to Huntington’s disease, an inherited, incurable and fatal neurodegenerative disorder.

“These cells offer a possible long-term treatment approach that could relieve the tremendous suffering experienced by patients and their families,” she said.

In 2008, Thompson also got a $1.4 million CIRM grant to produce human embryonic and adult-derived stem cell lines from individuals carrying the Huntington’s genetic mutation in order to study the disease. UC Irvine has been awarded nearly $100 million in CIRM funding.