Monthly Archives: September 2011

A Picture of the Life of Nancy Wexler

A Picture of the Life of Nancy Wexler

Nancy Wexler is a scientist I find particularly interesting
because of her field of study, neuropsychology, a field in which I am
personally interested in how the two disciplines of psychology and neurology
combine to form a cohesive science. I also find, upon reading more about her,
Dr, Wexler is a very courageous and ambitious individual who has made it her
life’s mission to find an end to a crippling disease that has personally
affected her so profoundly, something I find honorable and admirable.

Dr. Wexler was born on July 19,
1945 to Milton and Leonore Wexler in Washington D.C. She experienced a major
turning point in her life in 1968 when Wexler discovered her mother was showing
signs of Huntington’s disease. Wexler at the time was entering a doctoral
program for clinical psychology at the University of Michigan and eventually
wrote her thesis on the disease. She received her PhD in 1974. After graduating, she began teaching
psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York City. At this time
she was also conducting research on Huntington’s for the National Institutes of
Health. In 1979, Wexler went to Venezuela to further conduct research on
Huntington’s, where she and a team would collect data that would eventually lead
to the isolation and identification of the gene responsible for the Huntington’s
mutation in 1993. Afterwards, she was appointed as the director for the
foundation her father founded, the Hereditary Disease Foundation. To this day,
Dr. Wexler continues to look for a cure for this horrifying hereditary disease.

To Sum Up…

To Sum Up…

Dr. Nancy Wexler is a scientist who has dedicated her life to the study of Huntington’s disease, most notably her part in locating the gene mutation for the disease and to find a cure for such a devastating disease. Her work has earned her considerable recognition as well as the Albert Lasker Public Service Award for her work towards a cure for Huntington’s.  Wexler is an ambitious and utterly determined person who is some one I consider a great role. The devastation she suffered personally from this disease did not break her, in fact it strengthened her resolve on the fight against Huntington’s, something I find truly courageous and noble. I find Nancy Wexler to be an excellent role model because of her perseverance. Her life has drastically been altered because of Huntington’s and yet she looks it square in the face and fights it, instead of allowing herself to drown in self pity. She is an exceptionally strong and courageous person that I think everyone can learn from.

Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography

Primary Source:

An Interview with Dr. Nancy Wexler. N.p.,n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2011.

Because this was an actually interview with Dr. Wexler, it was especially beneficial and has remarkable information about her career, associations, and accomplishments throughout her life. This source was descriptive and extensive to the extreme, and provided lengthy, detailed information on Dr. Wexler’s work in her own words. I expect to use the information provided in this interview to catalog Dr. Wexler’s accomplishments and work, as well as her educational background.  Such information such as her official college education and degrees as well as work, such as that in the Human Genome Project and her work on the cure for Huntington’s, will be used for my project chronicling Dr. Wexler’s work as a scientist.

Secondary Sources:

Brynie, Faith Hickman. “Turning tragedy to triumph.” Odyssey 5.1 (1996): 38. MasterFILE

Premier.EBSCO. Web. 8 Sept. 2011.

This article was very beneficial to my information gathering; it had a detailed background about the origin of how she and why she began research on Huntington’s disease. This article was very clear in the information provided as well as descriptive. It also provided helpful background information on genes and DNA to better understand her research. This article focused more on her hunt for understanding on Huntington’s disease, going in depth on her trip to Venezuela and the research conducted on the information gathered there. I expect to use this source to go in depth of her part in finding the location of the Huntington’s gene as well as her involvement in the Hereditary Disease Foundation. The main points of this particular article were: how her mother’s diagnosis of Huntington’s influenced her life’s work, her research trip to Venezuela, her part in the founding of the Hereditary Disease Foundation, and her present search for the cure for this terrible disease.

Jaroff, L. “Making the best of a bad gene.” Time 139.6 (1992): 78. Associates Programs Source.

EBSCO.Web. 8 Sept. 2011.

This article overall is very useful as well as accurate information, with a plethora of important dates and years in Dr. Wexler’s life.  Particularly useful for me to use, is how her mother’s diagnosis with Huntington’s affected her college work and her career path. It goes into great detail of what she chose in college to study and the credentials she came out of college with. Also, there are beneficial snippets of her personal life, such as having a longtime companion, Herbert Pardes, and her personal struggle of being able to pass down the Huntington gene is she would ever have had children. Overall, I would expect to use the author’s overall extensive information on her college life, as well as some of the more personal  information provided in this article in my research and project on Dr. Wexler’s life and accomplishments.

Murray, Mary. “Nancy Wexler.” The New York Times Magazine. 13 Feb. 1994. Web. 11 Sept.

2011.

This magazine article offered an extensive and accurate look at Dr. Wexler’s life, from when she was a child to her winning the Lasker Award for working towards a cure for Huntington’s disease. This magazine article also brings up the emotional connections she has to Huntington’s, seeing as her mother was afflicted with the disease and how she herself is at risk for developing it. I believe that I can readily use this article to create more of a personal connection to her life’s work as well as simply chronicle her life in a more detailed manner than most of the other sources I have attained. The main points of this particular piece are the tremendous influence her mother’s disease had on Wexler’s career/education choices, her research in Venezuela and her personal feelings towards Huntington’s and hereditary diseases as she searches for a cure.

“Nancy Wexler Biography.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Web. 2005. 11 Sept. 2011.

This source I found particularly useful in the aspect of Dr. Wexler’s life growing up, chronicling when she was born, who her parents were, etc. It gives a very helpful description of her life and her studies before her mother was diagnosed with Huntington’s and also afterwards, noting the major differences in her education. This article also contains valuable information on what programs she entered in school, and what jobs and positions she took after completing said programs. I plan on using such information as her early life, educational career( both before and after her mother’s diagnosis), and the positions she held after completing school in my presentation about Dr. Wexler.

Park, Alice. “Nancy Wexler.” Time for Kids: News Scoop Edition 8.20 (2003): 7. MasterFILE

Premier.EBSCO. Web. 8 Sept. 2011.

This article may not be lengthy, but is most definitely proves its usefulness when it comes to the information it provides.  Although the information it provides is not extensive, it provides a nice general outline of Dr. Wexler’s life and accomplishments. I expect to use the information gathered from this source to help outline how Dr. Wexler was influenced to become who she is today and what she has accomplished in her life. The main points provided in this source are the influence of her parents, who were both scientists and helped her out through school so she could aspire to be a scientist as well. IN addition, I plan to use the information of the reveal of her mother’s Huntington’s to note why she does what she does today. Other noted information would be her trip to Venezuela, where she and a team eventually identified the exact location of the Huntington’s gene, and her ever-lasting hunt for the cure to Huntington’s disease.