Taube Philanthropies Donates $750,000 to Buck Institute to Fund Huntington’s Research

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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Taube Philanthropies, a charitable organization from the San Francisco Bay Area, in California, recently donated $750,000 to the Buck Institute for Research on Aging to support a research consortium working on Huntington’s disease.

Lisa Ellerby, PhD, is leading the consortium in collaboration with the Taube Neurodegenerative Disease Stem Cell Initiative. Ellerby is an expert on cell death in neurodegenerative disorders like Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, and has been with the Buck Institute since 2000.

Stem cell models of Huntington’s created by Ellerby have already been used to identify potential new therapies. Currently, Ellerby is working with other researchers at Taube NDSCI to generate new stem cell models that enable the testing of new therapy candidates and single-cell analyses to better understand the disease progression of Huntington’s.

“My goal is to develop therapeutics for Huntington’s disease,” Ellerby said in a press release. “This generous grant will go far in propelling our team toward that goal. All four investigators on the team are generating additional stem cell models and evaluating new small molecules for use in treating the disease.”

“It is immeasurably gratifying to be in a position to help unravel the mysteries of this terrible disease,” said Ted Taube, the founder and chairman of Taube Philanthropies. “I hope that Dr. Ellerby’s unique contributions to our research consortium will further advance these efforts to find effective therapies for people who suffer from Huntington’s.”

In May 2017, Taube Philanthropies donated $3 million to a research team from Stanford Medicine, Gladstone Institutes, and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) to support a gene editing project aimed at using stem cell techniques to develop new treatments for Huntington’s.

The innovative program has for the first time introduced gene editing and stem cell therapies as treatment strategies for Huntington’s.

Since Tad Taube became interested in supporting Huntington’s research 10 years ago, Taube Philanthropies has donated over $5 million to Gladstone and $1 million to Stanford.

Taube Philanthropies was established more than 30 years ago to support education, culture, and youth in the communities of the San Francisco Bay Area, and in Poland and Israel. The organization is run by Tad Taube and his wife, Dianne, and it works to ensure that free citizens have the freedom and opportunity to pursue their goals and dreams.