Mount Sinai Neuroscientist Makes it to the Big Screen

February 13, 2013 at 4:17 pm Leave a comment

Dr. John Roder, Senior Investigator with Mount Sinai’s Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, is featured in the award-winning documentary Do You Really Want to Know?, that appeared on TVO Wednesday February 6 at 9 pm. Directed by Oscar-winning, Ontario-born director John Zaritsky, the film follows three families confronted with the difficult, life-altering decision of whether or not to be tested for Huntington’s disease.

An inherited and fatal degenerative neurological illness, Huntington’s is one of the first diseases for which people can be conclusively tested before the onset of any symptoms. In those carrying the gene mutation, there is a 100 per cent chance they will develop symptoms, and a 50 per cent chance they will pass the gene on to their children. The knowledge that a person has – or doesn’t have – the gene can either lift a burden, or create a bigger one.

Dr. John Roder, a renowned neuroscientist, watched his father and grandfather succumb to Huntington’s while in their 50s. After the Huntington’s gene was discovered in 1993, he decided to be tested. Currently living with advanced symptoms, he continues to work full-time conducting groundbreaking research on brain illnesses, as well as learning and memory. Dr. Roder is steadfast in his fight again Huntington’s – in fact, he has already contributed to significant progress in unravelling the genetics of Huntington’s by understanding why a specific genetic mutation leads to this illness in mice.

For more information, check out the recent story in The Toronto Star, profiling Dr. Roder’s ground-breaking work at the Lunenfeld and his role in this inspiring film.

Entry filed under: Biotechnology News and Info from Canadian Universities. Tags: .

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