Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science

Leslie Gehry Brenner

Leslie Gehry Brenner

The Hereditary Disease Foundation presents annually the prestigious Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science, created to honor the memory of Leslie Gehry Brenner, the late daughter of HDF Founding Director, Frank Gehry. This award is gifted by the Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize Committee, compromised of previous Prize-recipients and some members of the HDF Scientific Advisory Board and outside reviewers.


Each prize winner is recognized for HD research that is usually innovative and leads to new advances in science seeking a cure for this disease.

Current Recipient

2017 – Sarah Tabrizi receives the seventh Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science. She has channeled her passion for Huntington’s disease research to discover effective new treatments that prevent or reverse the
neurodegenerative process. Sarah is the clinical global Principal Investigator for the world’s first “gene silencing” clinical trial in HD, sponsored by Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

Past Winners

2010 – The first Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science was awarded to David Housman. David’s research to discover the Huntington’s disease gene helped launch the Human Genome Project.   

2012 – Gillian Bates receives the second Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science for her work creating and learning from Huntington’s disease mouse models.   

2013 – Leslie Thompson receives the third Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science for her work on stem cells and Huntington’s. Stem cells are powerful tools that are opening many new research avenues, including the development of new models of HD derived from human cells.

2014 – William Yang receives the fourth Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science for his work creating and characterizing mice with specific “on/off” signals for the HD gene. The findings shed light on what goes wrong in HD and offer insight into which brain areas to direct new treatments towards.

2015 – Beverly Davidson receives the fifth Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science for her work on “gene silencing”– turning off the Huntington’s gene – as potential treatments and cures for Huntington’s disease and other neurological disorders.

2016 – Anne B. Young receives the sixth Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science for her pioneering research on the area deep in the brain called the basal ganglia which controls movement. She is dedicated to discovering novel, innovative and affordable treatments and cures. Anne leads with creativity, imagination, catalytic force, grace, brilliance, humor, kindness, warmth and empathy.

Sarah J. Tabrizi

Sarah J. Tabrizi

David Housman

David Housman

Gillian Bates

Gillian Bates

Leslie Thompson

Leslie Thompson

X. William Yang

X. William Yang

Beverly Davidson

Beverly Davidson

Anne B. Young

Anne B. Young