An Uncommon Research Model

Traditional research can be restrictive. Scientists often work in isolation, persuing complicated outcomes. Since its inception, the Hereditary Disease Foundation has challenged this traditional research model by creating Milton Wexler Workshops.

These Workshops are designed around scientific collaboration, which allows many researchers with various specialties to work together toward the same end goal. Credit for breakthroughs is shared by all collaborators involved, regardless of which vein of research or which scientist arrives to the discovery first. HDF understands that complex problems and cures are discovered when there are shared learnings between scientists. We bring together a mixture of ideas and imagination from students to senior scientists, including those in academia and industry, which allow for cross-pollination of ideas. The success of the Workshops has brought many promising young scientists into this field to dedicate a life-long career researching HD.

The Gene Hunters

Proven To Work

This unique research model was first established and proven in 1983 when the HDF brought together a multi-disciplinary group of about 100 international scientists, know now as “The Gene Hunters,” to discover the Huntington’s disease gene.

They were successful in their pursuit. This single discovery of the Huntington’s gene demonstrated that gene identification in human disease was possible for the first time in history. This breakthrough is quoted as the launch of the Human Genome Project, which identified all the approximately 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA.

All participants were equally credited for the discovery and were listed in the published paper as one author, “The Huntington’s Disease Collaborative Research Group.” The model has continued to be refined and innovated, but still stands out among traditional research today.