40 Years of Partnership
The HD Biobank was established by Dr. Michael Hayden in the 1980’s and later developed in collaboration with Dr. Blair Leavitt. Samples from the HD community have facilitated important discoveries in the HD field and will undoubtedly continue to contribute to new advances in HD research. It is a fruitful partnership that continues to benefit the whole HD community.
The Vision of the HD Biobank
Leadership and staff of the biobank have come together under the same vision: to live in a world with less burden from HD. Our mission is to bank high quality samples and robust clinical data, to serve as an essential resource for HD research across Canada and worldwide.
HD Biobank Directors
Dr. Michael R. Hayden:
Dr. Hayden is a Killam Professor and Canadian Research Chair in Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Since the 1980’s, Dr. Hayden has worked tirelessly to understand the pathogenesis of HD. His lab developed the first predictive test for HD, which was implemented in 1986 in British Columbia, Canada and is now in routine practice globally. His work on HD and other inherited disorders has earned him international recognition including being named one of the 50 Canadians born in the 20th century who have changed the world. Dr. Hayden has exceptional knowledge in how to find treatments for genetic disease. His work produced the first approved gene therapy product (Glybera) in a major market in 2012.
Dr. Blair R. Leavitt
Dr. Leavitt is a full Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics & the Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology (Associate) at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Leavitt is a consulting neurologist and Director of Research at the UBC Centre for Huntington Disease. A scientist and physician, Dr. Leavitt’s time (both clinical and research) is dedicated to developing new treatments for genetic brain disorders such as Huntington disease. He also works on other neurodegenerative diseases including Frontotemporal dementia and Fragile X.
The HD Biobank acknowledges with gratitude and respect that we operate on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.