About HD Genetics
Meet the Team
Founder of HD Genetics
B.J. has played a role in the Huntington’s disease (HD) community since his mom’s diagnosis in 1995. He and his family hosted an annual Hoop-A-Thon fundraiser from 1995 – 2012 that helped raise over $1 million for the HD Society of America (HDSA). BJ co-founded the HD Youth Organization (www.HDYO.org) , an international non-profit with a mission to support, educate and motivate young people impacted by HD. He served as the HDYO Board Chairman for 10 years before stepping down in 2020 to focus on HD Genetics. Professionally, BJ has been working in the pharmaceutical industry for the past 10 years in various positions. He tested negative for HD in 2010, but remains committed to supporting the community and is fueled with passion to help those who are starting their HD genetic testing journey.
BJ has an undergraduate degree from University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN) and a Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He resides in Charlotte, NC with his wife (Jamie) and two children (Harlin & Jett).
Genetic Specialist Team
Wes Solem, ScM
Wes Solem earned a Master of Science in Genetic Counseling from Johns Hopkins University in 2021. As part of this program, Wes was an Intramural Research Trainee for the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). His graduate thesis research was titled “COVID-19 Impact on Genetic Counseling for Huntington’s Disease via Teleheath”. Prior to graduate studies, Wes worked as an undergraduate laboratory assistant for Dr. Jeff Carroll at Western Washington University, studying the neurobiology and behavior of mice modeling Huntington’s disease. In 2018, Wes was selected for HDSA’s Donald A King Research Fellowship and in 2019 earned a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience.
HD Genetics’ business advisors have no financial affiliation to the business.
They are donating their time and energy to help HD Genetics provide the best possible service to the HD community.
Arvind has over 31 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience in commercial roles of increasing responsibility at Ciba-Geigy, Abbott Laboratories, Ovation Pharmaceuticals, Lundbeck, Auspex Pharmaceuticals, and AveXis and presently is SVP of Business Operations at Neurogene.
Arvind served as Vice President of Marketing at Auspex Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company that brought the medication Austedo to market for chorea associated with HD and was acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical in 2015. Before Auspex, he served as Director, Movement Disorders at Lundbeck, where he played an integral commercial role in the successful product launch and management of Xenazine®, the first and only FDA-approved drug for the treatment of chorea associated with Huntington’s disease. He served on the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) board of trustees for six years. He is currently the volunteer President of HDSA’s Illinois Chapter and sits on the board of the Huntington’s Study Group (HSG).
“I’m indebted to the HD community for everything they have done for me personally and professionally. I will always support and give back to the HD community.” – Arvind
Dr. Martha Nance
Dr. Nance is a board-certified neurologist and clinical geneticist with special interest in movement disorders, such as Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, hereditary ataxias and spastic paraplegias, as well as other neurogenetic disorders. She has served as the medical director of HDSA’s Center of Excellence at Hennepin HealthCare in Minneapolis, MN since 1995 and the Struthers Parkinson’s Center since 2000.
In addition to the care of patients and families with neurologic diseases, she is involved in clinical research to develop better treatments for Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease. She currently serves as a clinical professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota and is an active volunteer with many of the HD advocacy organizations including HDSA, HSG, HDYO and others!
“I have been involved in genetic testing for HD since before the gene was identified in 1993! I am very pleased to support the efforts of HD GENETICS to help people who are risk for HD—anywhere in the US– to have access to skilled and timely counseling and testing for this disease” – Dr. Nance
Ellen Matloff, MS, CGC
Ellen is the President and CEO of My Gene Counsel. Ellen is the founder and former director of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Program at Yale School of Medicine.
Ellen has authored more than 50 scientific publications in the field; is an established educator, lecturer, and media spokesperson; and has received national awards for her ongoing patient advocacy efforts. She is an outspoken patient advocate in many areas, most notably as a plaintiff in the 2013 BRCA gene patent case that went before the Supreme Court in 2013. This decision led to drastically lower prices of genetic testing, making it possible for more patients to afford this technology.
As genetic testing became more common and also more complex, she served as the senior author on several publications documenting national errors in the misinterpretation of genetic test results. From these experiences, Ellen created My Gene Counsel and its associated digital tools that can be used in parallel with genetic testing to help ensure that results are used accurately and effectively.
Michael has over 40 years of experience in the financial services industry and is currently chairman of Applied Capital Management, a private investment management firm.
Michael is the founder of HDSA’s Berman-Toppler Fellowship that awards young scientists three-year grants to focus their time and energy on Huntington’s Disease science research. Michael serves as a board member of Atalanta Therapeutics.
“Genetic testing is a useful, important tool in the fight against HD. We must never forget that a patient and family are involved, and that those who are encouraged to receive testing are treated in an ethical and compassionate manner. .” – Michael
Dr. Jody Corey-Bloom
Dr. Corey-Bloom, MD, PhD, is a board-certified neurologist who specializes in dementia and neurodegenerative conditions associated with Huntington’s disease, Alzheimers and multiple sclerosis.
She is the director of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America Center of Excellence at UC San Diego.
Dr. Corey-Bloom is a physician-scientist and professor emeritus in the Department of Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the causes and treatment of dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders. She also leads numerous clinical trials investigating drug therapies for Huntington’s disease and dementing conditions.
She completed a neurology residency and fellowship at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. Corey-Bloom earned her medical degree from UC San Diego School of Medicine and her PhD in anatomy at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia. She is board certified in neurology.
I couldn’t be more excited about the HD Genetics’ team. This group is dedicated to always making decisions based on what is best for the HD community. I am lucky and blessed to have them all play a role!B.J. Viau – Founder, HD Genetics