On Friday November 13, we had a very successful, fully online Dutch HD research symposium November, organized by Harrie Kampinga and Greetje Noppert from the University Medical Center in Groningen.
Before lunch we were updated on aggregation propensities of the mutant huntingtin protein by presentations from submitted abstracts from Mark van der Klok (RUG) using course-grained molecular dynamics, Courney Klaips (UMCG) on stress response and huntingtin aggregation and Karlijne Geijtenbeek (AMC) on proteasomal changes and HD. These were followed by presentations from projects funded by the campaign team Huntington. David Parfitt (LUMC) gave an update on antisense oligonucleotide therapeutics in animal and iPSC models, Steven Berging (UMCG) on the DNAJB6 project and Eric Reits on how to target mutant huntingtin for protein degradation. After the lunch break we continued with an interactive discussion on the use of induced pluripotent stem cells for HD research, led by Willeke van Roon-Mom. This was followed by two presentations recent CTH Open Call awardees Patrick van der Wel on a new structural model for misfolded huntingtin exon1 and Stefan Rudiger on a strategy to remove Huntington fibrils.
In the past year two influential researchers have passed away that have contributed to HD research in The Netherlands and world wide. Eric Reits gave an In Memoriam for Huib Ova (LUMC) and Willeke van Roon-Mom for Gertjan van Ommen (LUMC).
The day ended on a positive note with the announcement of Sabine Schipper-Krom as the recipient of the VvH-ADCA Stimulation grant award.
Although the meeting was fruitful, we sincerely hope we can meet face-to-face for our 2021 meeting.