HD Research

Nancy Wexler-The Gene Hunter

Dr. Nancy Wexler and myself at the 2018 HDSA Annual Convention in Los Angeles. I gave Alice & Nancy a copy of my book.

In 1979, Nancy Wexler, an American scientist, and her team began a collaboration with the affected families of Maracaibo. Due to breakthroughs in recombinant DNA research, the “Gene Hunter team”, as they were called, were able to initiate a study in which they created pedigrees, or family trees, of the vast network of HD patients in the region. Because the genealogy record was so thorough, the researchers were able to discover that all the residents of Lake Maracaibo had a common ancestor, Maria Concepcion Soto, who first arrived in the region sometime in the 19th century. She is considered the “founder” since approximately 20,000 descendants at risk for HD could be traced back to her. Bio on Dr. Nancy_Wexler     

With this wealth of data, the team was able to narrow down the location of the HD gene in 1983. This discovery was a huge scientific breakthrough, not only in the search for a cure, but also for understanding genetic inheritance.

Alice Wexler, Louise Vetter, Nancy Wexler
HDSA is receiving 100% of the books profits.

Left to right: Anna, her mother Nora Guthrie, Louise Vetter and Dr. Nancy Wexler
Anna Canoni is 3rd from the left & Dr. Nancy Wexler is on the far left
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