The ULF’s mission includes nurturing the future leaders of the scientific and medical sector to ensure advances in research to achieve our community’s goals: newborn screening techniques, faster diagnosis, early intervention, improved treatment options, and most importantly, a cure!

The ULF is honored to name it’s annual Poster Competition after Dr. Paul A. Watkins for his legacy of improving the lives of those affected by leukodystrophy through his unwavering dedication to the advancement of research.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 presentation!

Photo L to R: Jessica Herstine, Dr. Joe Hacia, Alexandra Chapleau, Quinty Bisseling, and Dr. Paul Watkins

The 2023 poster presentation was officially named after Dr. Paul Watkins, presented by friend and colleague Dr. Joe Hacia. Dr. Watkins was presented with a plaque and a gumball machine trophy, paying homage to his work on the “bubblegum” gene in mice. Dr. Hacia also presented the awards to the deserving presenters who placed as follows:

First place: Jessica Herstine, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. USA. “Gene replacement therapy displays early efficacy in two models of Vanishing White Matter disease”

Second place: Quinty Bisseling, Amsterdam UMC in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. “Unraveling astrocyte dysfunction in the white matter disease MLC: linking the cytoskeleton to volume-regulated ion channels”

Third place: Alexandra Chapleau, McGill University in Montreal, Canada. “Expanding the Phenotypic Spectrum of EPRS1-Related Disorder”