PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Help 4 HD Symposium Connects HD Families and Medical Professionals with Leading HD Scientists, Researchers, and Advocates

Help 4 HD International is pleased to announce the First Annual Help 4 HD Symposium to be held July 18-19, 2014, at the Historic Santa Maria Inn in Santa Maria, California. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend, along with HD families, medical professionals, and others interested in HD and the advancement of medical diagnosis, treatment and research.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited and ultimately fatal brain disorder that affects control of movement, thought and behavior. Every child of an individual with HD has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the mutated gene that causes HD. More than 30,000 Americans have been diagnosed with HD and more than 250,000 others are at risk.
“The purpose of this Symposium is to connect with HD families, introduce them to expert care, research opportunities, and impart hope,” said Help 4 HD International President and CEO, Melissa Biliardi, whose son James was diagnosed with HD seven years ago. “We also want to provide information and educational opportunities to medical professionals who care for our HD patients and interact with their families.”
At the Welcome Reception on Friday night, July 18, at 7:00 pm, in the Santa Maria Inn’s Kent Room, the public is invited to meet the event’s highly esteemed keynote speakers from top universities and institutions around the country, as well as international HD organization leaders and advocates.
Help 4 HD Symposium registration begins Saturday, July 19, at 8:00 am, followed by the morning’s Speaker Panel from 9:00 to 12 noon. After a picnic lunch in the Santa Maria Inn’s renowned gardens among educational exhibits and displays, the Symposium continues with the afternoon Speaker Panel from 1:00 pm through 5:00 pm.
The Symposium’s panel of distinguished speakers include: Ira Shoulson, MD, Professor of Neurology, Pharmacology at Georgetown University, Founder HSG/PSG; Ray Dorsey, MD, MBA, Professor of Neurology and Co-Director, Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics, Connect.Huntington (Telemedicine Study); Neal Hermanowicz, MD, Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Neurology, Director, Movement Disorders Program, University of California, Irvine; Suzanne Pontow, PhD, Co-Director, Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Program, UC Davis Stem Cell Program; Peg Nopoulos, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, Pediatrics, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Kids-HD/Kids-JHD; Auspex Pharmaceuticals, Clinical Trial SD809 (First-HD/ARC-HD); Jan Nolta, Ph.D., Professor Director UC Davis Stem

Cell Program, Institute for Regenerative Cures, Associate Editor, Stem Cells; Kevin McCormick, Communications Director, CIRM (California Institute for Regenerative Medicine); Teresa Tempkin, RNC, MSN, ANP, HDSA COE, University of California, Davis Medical Center Department of Neurology; Alan Fernandez, Associate Director, GPI (Genetics Policy Institute); Ellen Feigal, MD, Sr. Vice President, R & D, CIRM; Lavonne Goodman, MD, Internal Medicine, HD Drug Works; Nathan Goodman, MD, Systems Biology for HD; HD advocates Frances Saldana, President/UCI HD Care, and from Mexico City: Margaret D’Aiuto Martarano de Gallardo, Founder/President, Asociación Mexicana de la Enfermedad de Huntington IAP; Brenda Vega, Founder/Fundación Huntington Mexico; Veronica Ruiz, Fundación Veronica Ruiz.
Held concurrently with the Symposium, HD experts will conduct one-hour CME/CE courses for medical professionals and registered nurses in the Santa Maria Inn’s Kent Room, with registration 30 minutes prior to class. 9:00 am CME credit program is “Huntington’s Disease – Diagnosis to Clinical Trials,” with Jan Nolta, PhD, Director, UC Davis Stem Cell Program Institute for Regenerative Cures. 11:00 am CE program is “An Update on Promising Therapies for Huntington’s Disease,” with Teresa Tempkin, RNC, MSN, ANP, HDSA COE, UC Davis Medical Center Department of Neurology. 1:00 pm CEM program is “Umbilical Cord Blood Collection,” with Suzanne Pontow, PhD, Co-Director, Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Program, UC Davis Stem Cell Program.
Saturday night’s Gala and Awards Ceremony begins at 5:30 pm with a no-host bar in the Santa Maria Inn’s Kent Room, followed by a plated dinner at 6:00 pm, with DJ entertainment and an Awards Ceremony to wrap up the evening.
Claudia Testa, MD, PhD, of the Virginia Commonwealth University Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center, explained the value of interaction between patients, medical professionals and the public at events such as the Help 4 HD Symposium. “It didn’t take me long as a physician- scientist to realize that patients are my best teachers. My job is connecting that clinical experience with research to make progress understanding and treating movement disorders.”
The First Annual Help 4 HD Symposium is sponsored by Auspex Pharmaceuticals, Griffin Foundation, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Raptor Pharmaceuticals and will provide a valuable forum for the public, the HD community and the medical community to make connections, advance education and promote awareness. For more information and to register for the Help 4 HD Symposium, please visit: or call Melissa Biliardi at 805-441-5618 or email:
Help 4 HD International Incorporated was founded in 2010 to educate the world about Huntington’s disease, support HD individuals and their families, initiate and educate the medical professionals who care for them, and promote care, research and clinical trials for HD. Visit for more information.


Melissa Biliardi – Help 4 HD International 805-441-5618

event calendar sponsored by:
Recent Comments