Huntington's Disease Society of America
My name is Michelle Gray. I was raised in a small rural town in west Alabama, where I spent my time playing outside and observing the animals in my environment. My curiosity about the different animals and their development led me to a graduate program at The Ohio State University where I studied the development of the nervous system. After obtaining my Ph.D. there, I believed that some of the skills and ideas I had could be applied to the study of neurodegenerative diseases. To that end, I went to the University of California, Los Angeles to generate and work on mouse models of HD. This is where my connection to HD began. Although I do not have a familial tie to this disease, I do know people with HD and feel a connection to those that live with this disease and the threat of this disease daily. While I am a basic scientist, the study of this disease is more than an academic or intellectual endeavor. My ultimate research goal is to uncover and understand mechanisms that contribute to this disease with the hope that some of what we learn in the laboratory can ultimately be used to improve the lives of people with HD. This has become my life’s work and passion. I pursue it daily in my research laboratory at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition, this year I have become a member of the Board of Trustees for HDSA. I believe that my service in the laboratory and on this board will allow me to have a meaningful and tangible affect on the lives of people with HD and their families.