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Fellows Directory

Gillian Bates

Gillian Bates

Credit: John Hammond

Professor Gillian Bates FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2007


Gillian Bates studies the molecular and genetic underpinnings of Huntington’s disease, a late-onset brain disorder that leads to uncontrolled movements, emotional problems and cognitive difficulties. Gillian’s research highlights include her role in first mapping then cloning the huntingtin gene, together with the creation of the first mouse model of the disease.

Her work is helping to reveal novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of Huntington’s disease — one such possible target being histone deacetylase 4, the effectiveness of which Gillian first demonstrated using her mouse model.

Gillian has received a number of awards in recognition of her work, including the Society’s GlaxoSmithKline Prize in 1998 for her part in discovering the cause of Huntington’s disease. In addition to being a Fellow of the Society, she was also elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1999 and as a member of EMBO, the European Molecular Biology Organisation, in 2002.

Professional positions

, Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience, University College London (UCL)

Interest and expertise


Huntington disease, Neurodegenerative diseases, protein homeostasis, polyglutamine diseases


  • Royal Society GlaxoSmithKline Prize and Lecture

    In recognition of their discovery of the cause of Huntington's Disease, a dominantly inherited, late onset, fatal neurodegenerative disease.

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