Research Investigator Profile

Steven Hersch, MD, PhD

Steven Hersch, MD, PhD

  • Professor of Neurology,
    Harvard Medical School

  • Associate in Neurology,
    Massachusetts General Hospital 


Research Description

In recent years, Dr. Hersch has worked on understanding the role of huntingtin protein in the pathogenesis of HD utilizing human brain tissue and transgenic mouse models. At the same time, he has performed clinical research on Huntington’s disease, including clinical trials. Dr Hersch provides expertise in human and transgenic mouse neuropathology and therapeutics discovery using transgenic mouse models, and heads up all testing of potential therapeutic compounds on transgenic mouse models of HD. Three compounds are currently being tested and up to ten are slated for the next year. Steve is also in charge of clinical care provided by the Mass General HD Center of Excellence, and is developing a translational program to rapidly bring research findings into the clinic. He also sees patients in the Movement Disorders unit at Mass General.

To learn more, visit the Hersch Lab.

Research interests Transcriptional dysfunction and cellular energetics contributing to HD pathogenesis, the Huntingtin protein,  potential therapeutic compounds
Research techniques Transgenic HD mouse models, clinical trials, observational or therapeutic studies, drug compound testing
Diseases studied  Huntington's disease
Selected publications
  1. Hu Y, Chopra V, Chopra R, Locascio JJ, Liao Z, Ding H, Zheng B, Matson WR, Ferrante RJ, Rosas HD, Hersch SM, Scherzer CR. Transcriptional modulator H2A histone family, member Y (H2AFY) marks Huntington disease activity in man and mouse. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Oct 11; 108(41):17141-6. View in: PubMed
  2. Maxwell MM, Tomkinson EM, Nobles J, Wizeman JW, Amore AM, Quinti L, Chopra V, Hersch SM, Kazantsev AG. The Sirtuin 2 microtubule deacetylase is an abundant neuronal protein that accumulates in the aging CNS. Hum Mol Genet. 2011 Oct 15; 20(20):3986-96. View in: PubMed
  3. Rosas HD, Reuter M, Doros G, Lee SY, Triggs T, Malarick K, Fischl B, Salat DH, Hersch SM. A tale of two factors: what determines the rate of progression in Huntington's disease? A longitudinal MRI study. Mov Disord. 2011 Aug 1; 26(9):1691-7. View in: PubMed
  4. Fox JH, Connor T, Stiles M, Kama J, Lu Z, Dorsey K, Lieberman G, Liebermann G, Sapp E, Cherny RA, Banks M, Volitakis I, DiFiglia M, Berezovska O, Bush AI, Hersch SM. Cysteine oxidation within N-terminal mutant huntingtin promotes oligomerization and delays clearance of soluble protein. J Biol Chem. 2011 May 20; 286(20):18320-30. View in: PubMed
  5. Moscovitch-Lopatin M, Weiss A, Rosas HD, Ritch J, Doros G, Kegel KB, Difiglia M, Kuhn R, Bilbe G, Paganetti P, Hersch S. Optimization of an HTRF Assay for the Detection of Soluble Mutant Huntingtin in Human Buffy Coats: A Potential Biomarker in Blood for Huntington Disease. PLoS Curr. 2010; 2:RRN1205. View in: PubMed
NCBI PubMed link NCBI PubMed publications
E-mail address
Lab mailing address MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease
114 16th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
Clinical interests  Huntington's disease and neurodegenerative diseases
Clinical address Massachusetts General Hospital
Neurology, Suite 835
Wang Ambulatory Care Center
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114 USA
Clinical website address Huntington's disease Unit

Updated 03/21/2012

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