CHDI Meeting Palm Springs – Monday: Discussions and Introductions

The conference kicked off yesterday at the Parker Hotel, Palm Springs. 300 participants from a range of backgrounds, clinicians through to computational modellers, gathered to share research achievements and discuss new areas of interest in the field of HD. 

Following a series of updates from CHDI staff in preclinical biology and chemistry HD research as well as updates from the clinic, we heard a very moving talk from Astri Arnesen and Svein Olaf Olsen, regarding their personal experiences about life as members of a HD family. Astri Arnesen works at the European Huntington Association and is involved in HD outreach work, sharing her experiences.  

I reconnected with Russell Snell, who I met at this meeting last year. Professor Snell is a neurogeneticist who runs a laboratory at the Universiy of Auckland, New Zealand. After discussing this blog and the concept of open science and how this could help move the HD field forward more quickly, Russell had some interesting suggestions as to the wider application of open science. In particular, the issue of how much science doesn’t get written up as researchers either don’t have the time or leave the lab for another position halfway through a project, to name but a few instances. If more scientists used an open notebook model, this data could be preserved, on platforms such as Zenodo, for posterity and as an excellent resource to scientists. Food for thought for now. 

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