Driven from her heart to HDSA fellowship

Jolene Luther with a photo of her and her grandfather, William Holcomb. Photo by Owen Wade.


PREDICT-HD Student Researcher and University of Iowa senior Jolene Luther was one of two fellows selected to be a 2013 Huntington Disease Society of America (HDSA) Donald A. King Summer Research Fellow. Her passion and dedication to researching Huntington disease stems from her relationship with her late grandfather, who died in 2011 from HD.


In the final years of his life, Jolene's grandfather, William Holcomb, was unable to care for himself as the disease progressed. Jolene's decision to apply for the fellowship and get involved in HD research was in large part to stay connected to and memorialize her late grandfather.


For 10 weeks this summer, Jolene is looking at MRI scans of PREDICT-HD participants to determine if there are increased levels of iron in the brain. If there are, Jolene will have helped identify a potential biomarker of HD progression that can help researchers better understand HD and get them one step closer to finding treatments and, hopefully, a cure.


Jolene's full story is featured on the University of Iowa HDSA Center of Excellence's site (click here to read the full article).