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Dr Hannah Furby
10-12 Russell Square House
  • Research Associate
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
Dr Hannah Furby is a Research Associate at the Huntington's Disease Centre, Department of Neurodgenerative Disease, Institute of Neurology at University College London (UCL).  Hannah completed a BSc (Hons) in Psychology (First Class) at the Cardiff University in 2009, a MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience (Distinction) at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in 2012, UCL and was awarded her PhD from Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) under Professors Richard Wise and Stephen Dunnett in 2016. Her PhD thesis was titled 'Exploring the beneficial effects of cardiorespiratory fitness and exercise on cerebrovascular health in Huntington's Disease: A cross-species approach'.

In 2016, Hannah undertook a one year post-doctoral position between CUBRIC and the Huntington's Disease (HD)Research Centre with Professor Anne Rosser and Claudia Metzler-Baddeley in which she ran a pilot study looking at the feasibility of computerised cognitive training in pre-manifest HD patients, addressing changes in white matter microstructure and myelination using diffusion weighted MRI techniques, as well as CBF imaging using pseudo-continuous arterial spin labelling (pCASL) MRI.  This project was generously funded my the Jacques and Gloria Gossweiler Foundation and Health and Care Research Wales.

She joined UCL in 2017 where she is working on WIN-HD, a collaborative imaging project with INSERM, Paris and the Universite Grenoble Alpes titled ' Decoding Pre-symptomatic white matter changes in Huntington's Disease, testing the hypothesis that white matter changes exacerbate the pathogenic cascade in HD. The one year post is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC).
Research Summary

My research uses neuroimaging techniques, particularly MRI, to investigate possible therapeutics that may slow brain degeneration in people with Huntington’s Disease.  Huntington’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease for which there is currently no medicinal cure that effects ~1 in 10,000 people.  It is characterized by motor dysfunction, as well as cognitive and psychiatric decline.

My research focusses primarily on the pre-symptomatic and very early stage HD brain.  Using MRI in both humans and preclinical models, I aim to find non-invasive biomarkers of brain health including alterations in cerebral blood flow, gross macrostructural changes as well as microstructural changes in myelination and neurite density.

My previous research has focussed on whether non-medicinal interventions, such as physical activity and cognitive training, lead to detectable alterations in the brain's structure and function and, importantly, whether these can reduce symptom severity. 

I am a STEM ambassador and strong advocate of public engagement and science communication
Teaching Summary
A-level Psychology: Private Tutor
BSc Psychology (Cardiff University): Undergraduate tutor of the 1st year Research methods, statistics and experimental design module
MSc Neuroimaging Methods & Applications (Cardiff University): Project supervisor
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