The Huntington's Disease Center at Penn HDSA logo

The University of Pennsylvania Huntington’s Disease Center is recognized as a Center of Excellence by the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, it is the only Center of Excellence in the tristate area. We provide individualized, multi-disciplinary, family-centered care for families living with HD.
Directed by Dr. Pedro Gonzalez-Alegre M.D., Ph.D., the staff includes psychiatrists, genetic counselors, social workers, therapists, and a full-time coordinator dedicated to treating and assisting patients with Huntington’s Disease as well as their families. Our team engages in ongoing collaborative research with several organizations, clinics, and laboratories.

Click HERE to learn more about how you can help our center fight Huntington's Disease.

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Brief History of the Center

The HD Center is housed within the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center (PDMDC). The PDMDC was founded at the late, great Graduate Hospital in 1982 by Drs. Howard Hurtig and Matthew Stern and Nurse Gwyn Vernon as a center to provide comprehensive care and education to patients and families, and to conduct basic and clinical research in collaboration with basic scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (now the Perelman SOM). 
After 15 years of steady and expanded growth of its fundamental mission, the PDMDC moved in 1997 to the Penn Neurological Institute at Pennsylvania Hospital, where patient services and program development accelerated to achieve its current status as one of the premier facilities of its kind in the US. During those initial decades, patients affected by HD received excellent care at the PDMDC, and Drs. Hurtig and Stern were active members of the growing HD clinical and academic community... 


Special Announcements

HD Insights' lead article this month highlights the HDSA Center of Excellence at Pennsylvania Hospital

Many of you met our HD Center Third Year Medical Students, Kavitha Muralidharan and Ian Sigal in your virtual clinic visits this spring: click here to read their article published in the Huntington Study Group's publication HD Insights, on the experience of working with people with HD during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


And also...

Upcoming Support Webinar from the HDSA Center of Excellence at Pennsylvania Hospital:

On-Line Virtual Video Support Group/Webinar for people with HD and their loved ones:


Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

4:00-5:00 pm

Special guest speakers: Cynthia Clyburn, MSW, LSW, (Social Worker, Penn Out-Patient Neurology) and Jerry Rothkoff, Esq. (Rothkoff Law Group, Elder Care Law)

“Care Planning with Essential Legal Documents”

Reserve your slot! Link and directions for joining the group will be given when we confirm your space. 

Please RSVP to Jennifer Klapper, RN: phone 215-829-5176 or message us through MyPennMedicine


  • Safely Providing Care for our Families Through the COVID-19 Pandemic Friday, November 13, 2020

    The HDSA Center of Excellence at Pennsylvania Hospital is open and seeing both new and returning patients. 

    For safety, Penn Medicine and the HD clinic have instituted measures to help keep our patients safe in our clinic setting, including new check-in processes to assure social distancing, greatly reduced numbers of patients on in-person clinic days, and cleaning exam rooms between each patient. We are here for you, and ready to provide your care.

    For more information or for an appointment, contact Jennifer Klapper, RN, Clinic Coordinator, at phone 215-829-5176.




  • Our HD Center Makes Headlines! (click here for the article) Wednesday, June 24, 2020

    Many of you had the opportunity to meet one of our two Penn medical students, Kavitha Muralidharan or Ian Sigal, on the phone and during your telemedicine clinic visits. We were pleased to mentor them "virtually," with Dr. Gonzalez guiding them through an intensive HD focus, when their planned in-person clinical experiences were put on hold during the COVID pandemic. Their presence became a truly special aspect of the HD Center's telemedicine experience with you. They've written about how deeply this experience has affected them. Our thanks to you for your openness in allowing them in, and to learn from you about what it's like to live with HD. Click on the yellow headline above to read their article about their time with you, published in today's Philadelphia Inquirer! Our Med Students Talk about their time in the HD Center with the Philadelphia Inquirer (click the yellow writing to link to the article)


More News


  • On-Line Virtual Video Support Group/Webinar for people with HD and their loved ones

    HD Center of Excellence at Penn Medicine's Fall Support Group/Webinar Schedule: 


    Wednesday, November 18th, 4:00-5:00 pm

    Special guest speakers: Cynthia Clyburn, MSW, LSW, Social Worker, Out-Patient Neuromuscular Neurology, and Jerry Rothkoff, Esq., Rothkoff Law Group, Elder Care Law

    “Care Planning with Essential Legal Documents”

    ** To reserve your slot:**

    Please RSVP to Jennifer Klapper, RN

    Phone: 215-829-5176 or message us on MyPennMedicine

    (*Link and directions will be sent when we confirm your space*)

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