Genes on Screen Presents "Twitch - Would you want to know?"

Event Details

Community Activity
April 20, 2017 - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
The University of Arizona Cancer Center; Kiewit Auditorium; 1515 N Campbell Ave, Tucson, AZ 85724

The UAHS Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine and Center for Innovation in Brain Science proudly present the first installment of Genes on ScreenTM. A screening of the documentary Twitch and a presentation with filmmaker Kristen Powers will be followed by a panel discussion with experts in the fields of genetics and neurology. Genes on ScreenTM is free and individuals throughout the community are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.


About Twitch: A Documentary

Twitch follows 18-year-old Kristen Powers as she undergoes genetic testing for the disease that killed her mother. Huntington’s Disease (HD), a neurodegenerative brain disorder, destroys an individual’s ability to walk, talk, think, and reason, eventually leading to death.  The film will chronicle the emotional, social and medical journey through this important test, as well as the impact it has on an individual’s future. Twitch will explore the science with major Huntington’s Disease experts and activists who will provide deeper insight into the complexities and hopes buried in the disease.  Huntington’s has great stigma surrounding it; solving its mystery could potentially lead to the cures of not only HD but also several other neurological illnesses such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimers and ALS. This documentary will highlight the pressures people, especially young adults, face when given the chance to be handed their medical fate. 

Find more information about Twitch at 

Panel Discussion

A panel discussion will following the screening of Twitch and presentation by filmmaker Kristen Powers. Panelists for the discussion are:

Leslie F. Benson, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor and Lecturer, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UA College of Medicine

Kathryn E. Bradley, MD

Neurologist specializing in movement disorders
Center for Neurosciences, Tucson

Phillip Hardt, MA

Expert, Huntington’s disease advocacy, based in Phoenix

Christina M. Laukaitis, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine, UA College of Medicine
Director, Clinical Genetics and Genetic Counseling, Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine

Kristen Powers, BS

Filmmaker and Huntington’s disease-education activist

Steven Z. Rapcsak, MD

Professor of Neurology, UA College of Medicine
Chief of Neurology, Southern Arizona VA Health Care System

Master of ceremonies:
Linda L. Restifo, MD, PhD

Professor of Neurology, UA College of Medicine - Tucson

Sponsored by: 

Genes on Screen Presents "Twitch - Would you want to know?" is co-sponsored by the Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine and the Center for Innovation in Brain Science at the University of Arizona Health Sciences.

About the Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine

The Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine (TCAG2M) focuses on the application of genetics and genomic biology to improve healthcare delivery for the people of Arizona. TCAG2M supports outstanding translational and clinical investigations into the etiology of disease and the development of new approaches to manage these conditions in the clinical setting. This philosophy has driven the creation of divisions in cancer genetics, cardiopulmonary genetics, clinical genetics and genetic consultation, community engagement and education, technology and innovation, pharmacogenomics, and population genetics to advance our translational and clinical agenda. TCAG2M is headquartered at University of Arizona Health Sciences and has established interactions with all health science colleges in Tucson and Phoenix as well as several colleges and core facilities throughout the University. 

About the UA Center for Innovation in Brain Science

Established in 2016, the UA Center for Innovation in Brain Science will accelerate the advancement of evidence-based clinical care of brain disorders caused by disease, genetics or trauma. In the 21stcentury, there is not a single cure for a single neurodegenerative disease. The mission of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science is to create breakthrough therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases that affect Arizonans, the nation and beyond. The Center will serve as a knowledge, resource and community hub for the clinical to translational to basic science neuroscience community across the UA and Banner – University Medical Center. For brain innovation teams, the Center will provide enabling expertise and infrastructure to develop therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases. Through the UA Center for Innovation in Brain Science, the vision of Precision Medicine Through Precision Discovery for Personalized Therapeutics to Cure Neurological Disease…will become reality. For more information:

Contact Info

For more information, please contact: 

Dr. Linda Restifo