Read about Cynthia McMurray, Ph.D., in the September 2008 issue.
Cynthia McMurray lives with Huntington’s disease, but not in the same way as the 1 in 10,000 Americans with the incurable disorder. Every day, she tries to understand how Huntington’s dismantles and destroys brain cells.
Certain parts of the disease gene have hiccups in their code, repeating up to 80 times. By studying the structure of DNA, McMurray is learning how the repeats form and why our bodies can’t delete them. While her work won’t lead to an immediate cure, it’s helping those affected by Huntington’s understand and recognize the challenges of science.