Dr. Amber L. Southwell, Associate Professor, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, Division of Neuroscience, has been working in preclinical therapy development for Huntington disease (HD) since 2002. In 2009 she earned her PhD at the California Institute of Technology working with Dr. Paul Patterson to develop an intrabody gene therapy for HD. From 2009-2016, she did postdoctoral research at the University of British Columbia with Dr. Michael Hayden where she developed several novel mouse models of HD, a selective mutant huntingtin gene silencing therapy, and a CSF biomarker for brain huntingtin. She began her laboratory research group at UCF in January 2017, where she continues these studies while also applying her successful strategies for HD to other inherited neurological diseases.

Selected Publications

  1. Caron NS, Banos R, Aly A, Xie Y, Ko S, Potluri N, Anderson C, Findlay-black H, Anderson LM, Gordon B, Southwell AL*, Hayden MR*. Cerebrospinal fluid mutant huntingtin is a biomarker for huntingtin lowering in the striatum of Huntington disease mice. Neurobiol. Dis. PMID 35143966 *equal contribution
  2. Caron NS, Banos R, Yanick C, Aly A, Byrne L, Smith ED, Xie Y, Smith, SEP, Potluri N, Findlay-black H, Casal E, Ko S, Cheung D, Kim H, Seong IS, Wild E, Song JJ, Hayden MR, Southwell AL. (2021) Mutant huntingtin is cleared from the brain via active mechanisms in Huntington disease. J Neurosci 41:780-796 PMID: 33310753
  3. Machiela E*, Jeloka R*, Caron NS*, Mehta S, Schmidt ME, Tom CM, Potluri N, Xie YY, Mattis VB, Hayden MR, Southwell AL. (2020) The interaction of aging and cellular stress contributes to pathogenesis in mouse and human Huntington disease neurons. Aging Neurosci. 12:524369 PMID: 33192449
  4. Caron NS*, Southwell AL*, Brouwers C, Dal Cengio L, Xie Y, Findlay-Black H, Anderson LM, Ko S, Zhu X, Van Deventer S, Evers ME, Konstantinova P, Hayden MR (2020) Potent and sustained HTT suppression via AAV5 encoding miRNA in a humanized mouse model of Huntington disease. Nucleic Acids Res. 48:36-54. PMID: 31745548    * Equal contribution
  5. Southwell AL, Kordasiewicz HB, Langbehn D, Skotte NH, Parsons MP, Villanueva EB, Caron NS, Østergaard ME, Anderson LM, Xie Y, Dal Cengio L, Findlay-Black H, Doty CN, Fitsimmons B, Swayze EE, Seth PP, Raymond LA, Bennett CF, Hayden MR. (2018) Huntingtin suppression restores cognitive function in a mouse model of Huntington’s disease. Sci Transl Med. 10(461): pii: eaar3959. PMID: 30282695. Reviewed in Nature Reviews Neurology 14:690–691 (2018) 
  6. Southwell AL, Skotte NH, Villanueva EB, Østergaard ME, Gu X, Kordasiewicz HB, Kay C, Cheung D, Xie Y, Waltl S, Dal Cengio L, Findlay-Black H, Doty CN, Petoukhov E, Iworima D, Slama R, Ooi J, Pouladi MA, Yang WX, Swayze EE, Seth PP, Hayden MR. (2017) A novel humanized mouse model of Huntington disease for preclinical development of therapeutics targeting mutant huntingtin alleles. Hum Mol Genet. 26(6):1115-1132 PMID: 28104789
  7. Southwell AL*, Smith A, Kay C, Sepers M, Villanueva EB, Parsons MP, Xie YY, Anderson L, Felczak B, Waltl S, Ko S, Cheung D, Dal Cengio L, Slama R, Petoukhov E, Raymond LA, Hayden MR*. (2016) An enhanced Q175 knock-in mouse model of Huntington disease with higher mutant huntingtin levels and accelerated disease phenotypes. Hum Mol Genet. 25(17):3654-3675. PMID: 27378694
  8. Kay C, Collins JA, Skotte NH, Southwell AL, Warby SC, Caron NS, Doty CN, Nguyen B, Griguoli A, Ross CJ, Squitieri F, Hayden MR. (2015) Huntingtin Haplotypes Provide Prioritized Target Panels for Allele-Specific Silencing in Huntington Disease Patients of European Ancestry. Mol Ther. 23(11):1759-1771. PMID:26201449
  9. Southwell AL*, Smith SEP*, Davis TR, Villanueva EB, Caron NS, Xie Y, Collins JA, Sturrock A, Leavitt BR, Schrum AG, Hayden MR. (2015) Ultrasensitive measurement of huntingtin protein in cerebrospinal fluid demonstrates increase with Huntington disease stage and decrease following brain huntingtin suppression. Sci Rep. 5:12166. PMID:26174131
  10. Southwell AL, Skotte NH, Kordasiewicz H, Østergaard M, Watt AT, Carroll JB, Doty CN, Villanueva EB, Petoukhov E, Vaid K, Xie Y, Freier SM, Swayze EE, Seth PP, Bennett CF, Hayden MR. (2014) In vivo evaluation of candidate allele-specific mutant huntingtin gene silencing antisense oligonucleotide drugs. Mol Ther.  22(12):2093-2106. PMID:25101598 [Featured on the cover
  11. Østergaard M, Southwell AL, Kordasiewicz H, Watt A, Skotte N, Doty C, Vaid K, Villanueva E, Swayze E, Bennett CF, Hayden M, Seth PP. (2013) Rational design of antisense oligonucleotides targeting single nucleotide polymorphisms for potent and allele selective suppression of mutant huntingtin in the CNS. Nucleic Acids Res. 1;41(21):9634-50. PMID:23963702
  12. Southwell AL, Warby SC, Carroll JB, Doty CN, Skotte NH, Zhang W, Villanueva EB, Kovalik V, Xie Y, Pouladi MA, Collins JA, Yang XW, Franciosi SF, Hayden MR. (2013) A fully humanized transgenic mouse model of Huntington disease. Hum Mol Genet. 1;22(1):18-34. PMID:23001568[In Brief:  Genetics: Fully humanized mouse model of Huntington disease. Nature Rev Neurol 8, 594 (2012)/qwe456]
  13. Carroll JB, Warby SC, Southwell AL, Doty CN, Greenlee S, Skotte N, Hung G, Bennett CF, Freier SM, Hayden MR. (2011) Potent and selective antisense oligonucleotides targeting single nucleotide polymorphisms in the Huntington disease gene. Mol Ther. 19(12):2178-85. PMID:21971427
  14. Southwell AL, Bugg CW, Kaltenbach LS, Dunn D, Butland S, Weiss A, Paganetti P, Lo DC, Patterson PH. (2011) Perturbations with intrabodies reveal that calpain cleavage is required for degradation of huntingtin exon 1. PLoS One 6(1):e16676. PMID:21304966
  15. Southwell AL, Ko J, Patterson PH. (2009) Intrabody gene therapy ameliorates motor, cognitive and neuropathological symptoms in multiple mouse models of Huntington’s disease. J Neurosci. 29:13589-13602. PMID:19864571 [Reviewed in: March 2010 European Huntington’s Disease Network News]
  16. Southwell AL, Khoshnan A, Dunn DE, Bugg CW, Lo DC, Patterson PH. (2008) This week in the Journal: Intrabodies binding the proline-rich domains of mutant huntingtin increase its turnover and reduce neurotoxicity. J Neurosci. 28:9013-9020. PMID:18768695 [This Week in the Journal and Reviewed in: June 2009 European Huntington’s Disease Network News]

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