About Us

Find out about who we are & what we do

Physiotherapist working with child patient in a rehab clinic. Boy raises dumbbells, strengthening arm muscles and developing joints

Who we are...

Cure DHDDS is founded by parents of children diagnosed with a DHDDS gene mutation. We are not scientists or medical professionals but parents trying to find the best way of helping our children.
Our mission is to support families diagnosed with DHDDS gene mutations, help drive research into these little-known mutations, and help find treatments so that those affected by variants in the DHDDS gene can lead the best life possible. Our vision is a world where there is a cure for everyone with a DHDDS variant.

Our Strategy

We will achieve our mission by:

  • Bringing the DHDDS & NUS1 community together. We will provide support for our existing DHDDS community, whilst also finding more individuals that carry DHDDS & NUS1 mutations. We hope that this will improve our knowledge of the spectrum of symptoms and enable us to better understand why the DHDDS & NUS1 variants manifest differently in individuals.

  • Educating, informing and raising public awareness of the DHDDS mutations.

  • Building connections with scientists and researchers so that we can aid understanding of these mutations and work with them to help find potential treatments to improve the lives of those living with DHDDS mutations.

You can find us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram under Cure DHDDS.

We also have a private Facebook group Cure DHDDS & nUS1 community for patients who carry the mutations, and medical professionals involved in DHDDS and NUS1 research.


Our Team

In 2022, after many years of tests and appointments Mel and Charlie discovered that two of their children carried a DHDDS mutation.

Armed with very little information on the condition they took to Google to find out what it meant and soon realised they were dealing with a newly discovered disorder which still had a lot of questions surrounding its causes and evolution.

They joined a Facebook group set up by Brenda Ramseyer-Cantlon another parent whose daughter had a DHDDS mutation. From a group of 3 parents they have now grown to encompass both individuals who carry DHDDS mutations and researchers and scientists who are studying it.

The group continues to grow. Now in 2023 they have set up the charity Cure DHDDS which is run entirely by families and volunteers.

Mel & Charlie Dixon cropped


Mel Dixon

Mel Dixon

Charlie Dixon 2

Charlie Dixon

Penny Brogan

Penny Brogan

Louise Townley

Louise Townley

Katie McCombe cropped

Katie McCombe

Victoria Allan

Victoria Allan

Scientific Advisors

Dr Serena Galosi – Sapienza University of Rome

Dr Serena Galosi is Assistant Professor in Pediatric Neurology and Childhood and Adolescence Psychiatry at the Department of Human Neuroscience of Sapienza University in Rome. Her clinical and research activity focus on paediatric rare movement disorders of neurometabolic and neurogenetic nature, including treatable and neurodegenerative disorders. Her Institution has a longstanding commitment to the study of rare movement disorders and neurometabolic disorders, and is a full partner of the ERN for metabolic disorders (MetabERN). She is an active member of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS) from 2016.


Dr Eva Morava-Kozicz- Mayo Clinic

Eva Morava-Kozicz, M.D., Ph.D., conducts translational research in mitochondrial disorders and congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDGs). Dr. Morava is actively involved in developing dietary therapies in genetic disorders and is the principal investigator of a multicenter study on the natural history of CDG.


Priv.-Doz. Dr Christian Thiel -University of Heidelberg

Christian THIEL, Ph.D., is a biochemist and group leader of the section for `Glycosylation deficiencies´ at the `Center for Child and Adolescent Medicine´ at the University of Heidelberg. He is a private lecturer at the Medical Faculty and is also lecturing at the Biological Faculty of the University Heidelberg. Christian Thiel is working in the field of CDG since 1999 and has established Heidelberg to one of the major centres for the investigation of glycosylation defects in Germany. He is interested in the identification of new molecular mechanisms of glycosylation deficiencies in human as well as in unravelling pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these defects to investigate new therapeutic approaches for CDG. The CDG group Heidelberg was decisively involved in the identification of the molecular mechanisms of several CDG disorders. He is an active member of the German CDG family organisation `GlycoKids´ for more than twenty years. 

Richard Steet, Ph.D. Director of Research -Greenwood Genetic Centre

Dr. Steet's research interests lie at the intersection of glycobiology, lysosomal biology and human disease. His current focus is aimed at defining the pathogenic mechanisms that underlie the lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) and congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDGs). His laboratory employs a powerful combination of genetic, biochemical and cell biological methods to uncover the pathogenic cascades of these disorders and explore new ways to treat them. He began his independent career at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Centre at the University of Georgia in 2006 and moved to the Greenwood Genetic Centre in 2018 to more closely pursue research on rare human genetic disorders. In his current role as the Director of Research at GGC, Dr. Steet guides efforts focused on supporting the clinical and diagnostic arms of the Center with functional studies, maintaining a strong, independently-funded program in LSDs and CDGs, and actively developing strategic partnerships with advocacy groups, universities and pharmaceutical companies to advance our understanding of genetic disorders. He serves on the scientific advisory boards for multiple rare disease organizations.

Dr. Heather Flanagan-Steet Director of Functional Studies, Greenwood Genetic Centre

Dr. Flanagan-Steet received her PhD in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from the University of Colorado in 2000. She did her post-doctoral training in neurobiology with Dr. Josh Sanes at Washington University in St. Louis, where she learned the power of the zebrafish system. In 2006 along with her husband, Dr. Richard Steet, Dr. Flanagan-Steet joined the faculty at the University of Georgia. Dr. Flanagan-Steet's research has largely focused on defining the mechanisms governing early tissue development. This has ranged from investigating how neuromuscular synapses form to development of the embryonic heart and craniofacial skeleton. For the last fifteen years Dr. Flanagan-Steet’s efforts have centered on defining the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying pathogenesis of rare genetic diseases. This has included several lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) as well as the congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDGs). Her work on genetic diseases has largely involved generating zebrafish models to investigate gene function and disease pathogenesis. This work pioneered the use of zebrafish to model rare inherited diseases, bringing new insight into the molecular initiators and mechanisms underlying pathogenesis of mucolipidosis II and PMM2-CDG. Using a zebrafish model of PMM2-CDG, Dr. Flanagan-Steet’s group recently defined the first known mechanism associated with impaired tissue development in the context of a CDG. The success of these studies has been augmented by her long -time collaboration with her colleague and spouse, Dr. Richard Steet. In 2018 Dr. Flanagan-Steet accepted the position of Director of Functional Studies at the Greenwood Genetic Center. Dr. Flanagan-Steet works closely with the Center’s team of physicians and clinical scientists to advance our understanding of the mechanisms driving pathology in rare diseases, using this information to identify and test new therapies.

Dr. Michael Lyons - Pediatrician and Associate Clinical Geneticist, Greenwood Genetic Center - Charleston Office

Dr. Lyons is the Director of Clinical Services at GGC and is actively involved in the clinical evaluation of genetic conditions in individuals of all ages. His areas of interest include telegenetics, dysmorphology, single gene disorders, genetics education, and treatment of genetic disorders. Dr. Lyons has diagnosed and followed numerous patients with congenital disorders of glycosylation with a particular interest in the clinical features associated with variants in the NUS1 gene.

Dr. Frances Elmslie - Clinical Lead at St George’s and Clinical Director of South East Genomic Medicine Service Alliance

Dr Elmslie initially trained in paediatric medicine in hospitals across South West England and in clinical genetics at both Great Ormond Street and St George’s Hospital. During the course of her training, she undertook research into the genetics of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. She was appointed as a Consultant Clinical Geneticist at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals, moving to St George’s in 2003. She is clinical lead for the service at St George’s as well as Clinical Director of the South East Genomic Medicine Service Alliance leading a team that aims to embed genomics into routine patient care. She has held a number of senior management positions including Chair of the Clinical Reference Group for Genetics at NHS England from 2017 – 2020 and President of the Clinical Genetics Society from 2019 – 2021. Her research interest in epilepsy has translated into a specialist clinical interest. She leads the St George’s Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) clinic, the largest such clinic in the UK. St George’s was the first centre in the UK to establish a treatment clinic for patients with TSC and the clinic now has over 100 patients receiving therapy with an mTOR inhibitor. Dr Elmslie was the lead applicant on the submission to establish an NHS England Rare Disease Collaborative Network for TSC, and the clinic network was awarded this status in January 2023. She was invited to take up the role of Vice-Chair of the patient charity, the Tuberous Sclerosis Association in December 2022. Dr Elmslie is a Co-Investigator for the NIHR/MRC funded Rare Disease Node in mTOR pathway disorders which is in the early stages of implementation.

Dr. Charles Steward - Head of Patient and Participant Engagement at Genomics England

Dr. Steward has spent around 30 years’ working with the human genome and for the past 10 years, specifically on rare neurological diseases on the Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge UK and since 2022 at Genomics England, UK. Charles spent 22 years at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, which is where he did his PhD and has co-authored numerous publications including at least 20 in Nature journals. Charles led the initial human chromosome 10 analysis, published in Nature (Deloukas et al., 2004) and led an international collaboration investigating the genomic basis of developmental and epileptic encephalopathies, published in npj Genomic Medicine (Steward et al., 2019). Charles is a scientific and patient engagement advisor to several patient groups and is a member of the Governance Council for the International Cerebral Palsy Genomics Consortium. Charles is also the father of two children with severe neurological disorders who have been through numerous UK-based genomic studies, including the 100000 Genomes Project. He has served as a member of Genomics England’s Participant Panel and the USA-based Simons Searchlight Community Advisory Committee. He is passionate about how patient advocacy and engagement can drive positive change for people, families and caregivers affected by rare genetic disorders.

Dr. Felix Chan - Lecturer in Neuroscience at Aston University, School of Pharmacy

Dr. Felix Chan is a Lecturer in Neuroscience at Aston University, School of Pharmacy. Felix’ main research interest is in metabolism in epilepsy. Felix did his undergraduate in medical sciences at Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 2008 to 2011. He then moved to Newcastle University to do an M.Res in Neuroscience. This continued as a PhD in Neuroscience from 2012 to 2018, where Felix developed the first-ever in vitrobrain slice model of mitochondrial epilepsy, characterising the importance of glutamine metabolism in this type of epilepsy. Felix then moved to Brown University to do a postdoctoral training, working on pediatric focal epilepsy. His work on TSC was awarded many accolades, including a prestigious NIH DSC-TSC Alliance Young Investigator Fellowship award and the American Epilepsy Society Young Investigator Award in 2020. Felix moved to Aston in September 2022 to establish his research group, Chan Lab.

Dr Rajvinder Karda is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Women’s Health, University College London

Dr. Karda leads a research team which focus on developing pre-clinical gene therapy and RNA editing treatments for childhood genetic epilepsies. She also collaborates on gene therapy pre-clinical studies for inherited childhood neurometabolic disorders. She is currently a board member of the British Gene and Cell Therapy Society & a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Dravet Syndrome Foundation, Spain.

Researcher working with microplate panel for diseases diagnosis in the laboratory. Doctor working with microplate for elisa analysis

Diagnosis of DHDDS

Identification of DHDDS mutations tends to be made either via whole exome sequencing (WES) or whole genome sequencing (WGS). Your medical professional should order these genetic tests if they suspect your symptoms may be caused by a genetic mutation such as the DHDDS mutations.

Diagnosis & Treatment