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 Aaron Lasker, MD, 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


Dr. Pedro Gonzalez-Alegre, the founder and Director of the Huntington’s Disease Center of Excellence (HD COE) at The University of Pennsylvania for the last 7 years will be transitioning to a new career path outside of Penn medicine. Dr. Gonzalez-Alegre has served our HD patients and their families with a commitment to delivering exceptional care, his presence will surely be missed by all.

We are lucky that we have a new Director, Dr. Aaron Lasker, joining our team immediately who will serve as the new Medical Director of the HD COE immediately, so that we have smooth transition for our patients. 

Learn more about Dr. Lasker under the "About Us"--> "Our Team" tab.

Please click here for more information!


***We are in Phase 2 of Pennsylvania's vaccine rollout. All of those in PA, NJ, and DE age 12 and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.***

In a nutshell: If you are offered a vaccine by your health care provider, we recommend that you receive the vaccine as offered unless there is a reason you should avoid that vaccine, such as an allergy to an ingredient (click here for more information). Inform your vaccination provider about all your allergies and health conditions.

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As we learned on March 22nd via a press release and community statement from Roche, their Phase 3 study of tominersen, known as the GENERATION-HD1 trial, has been halted early, meaning that participants will no longer receive the study drug or placebo.

Please click here for more information!


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