Summer travels showcasing the huntingtin protein toolkit

I have been really lucky this summer to have spent a lot of time travelling and attending lots of different meetings. This has been a fantastic opportunity for me to spread the word about our publication earlier this year in the Journal of Biological Chemistry which outlines the toolkit we made to allow other labs to produce high quality huntingtin protein samples. Integral to this project in equal measures are the role of open science in its generation and distribution as well as the robust characterisation of the huntingtin (HTT) protein samples which shed some light on the structure and function of this complex and elusive molecule.

Things kicked off this summer with the 2019 Gordon Research Seminar and Conference on “Neurodegeneration in CAG Triplet Repeat Diseases, from Molecular Pathogenesis to Rational Therapeutics” held in Italy. I presented a poster and a short talk which kept me very busy! It was great to reconnect with so many friends and collaborators at this spectacular conference – the conference content, location and organisation was just amazing! This was my first ever GRC and I am now keen to attend another.

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At the end of June, I was fortunate to attend the HDSA Convention in Boston. This was my first ever trip to Boston – what a great city! I gave a short talk in the “Moving Beyond Mice: Understanding HD in People” session. It was great to speak to patients, family members and other folks about protein structure and show everyone the 3D model of the HTT molecule – thanks Ray!! Attending this conference was very humbling and a great motivator to knuckle down in the lab and keep moving forward with all of the different research project threads the HDSA funding allows me to pursue.

Finally, I was fortunate to receive scholarship funding to travel to Seattle for SAGE Assembly 2019 where I presented a poster on the clear benefits open science has afforded my own research project with respect to the HTT toolkit. This was an inspiring meeting hearing about different aspects of the Open movement from a wide range of speakers representing many different disciplines.

Its been a great summer and I am excited to be back in Toronto and getting on with lots of lab work which I hope to present in future meetings… watch this space!

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