Legislators welcome new HudsonAlpha faculty investigator to Alabama

Montgomery, Ala. — The Alabama House of Representatives paused this morning’s legislative session to recognize HudsonAlpha as a key asset for the state of Alabama and to welcome to the state the first scientist in the world to use genomic sequencing to save a patient’s life.

The Alabama House welcomed to the floor renowned clinical genomics expert Howard Jacob, Ph.D., who announced last month that he and multiple research teams from the Medical College of Wisconsin would be relocating this summer to the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville.

Jacob’s expertise in using clinical genomics to discover undiagnosed disorders, when combined with the existing research expertise and technology at HudsonAlpha, will accelerate the interpretation of genomic data for the benefit of patients in Alabama and beyond. Jacob will join HudsonAlpha as the Chief Medical Genomics Officer.

“One of my goals at HudsonAlpha,” said Jacob, “will be to enable millions of patients and their doctors to use the knowledge from the patient’s DNA to improve healthcare.”

During this morning’s session, the House presented House Joint Resolution 44, sponsored by Rep. Mac McCutcheon, praising the unprecedented concentration of genomic experts and technology at HudsonAlpha.

“The HudsonAlpha Institute has been a leader for biotechnology for the state of Alabama.  The connection between science, clinical research, clinical care and job creation is vital to moving Alabama and the global community forward.  With the addition of the new genomic research, bioinformatic and clinical teams, Alabama will continue to lead the world in caring for patients and their families,” said McCutcheon.

The resolution recognizes the scientists, clinicians, educators and entrepreneurs at HudsonAlpha for performing groundbreaking genomic research, growing the bioscience economy in Alabama, and providing answers to Alabama patients and families impacted by undiagnosed genetic disease.

“The state of Alabama has been a tremendous partner with HudsonAlpha and we look forward to continued success working together as we diversify and strengthen the state’s economy,” said Jim Hudson, co-founder of HudsonAlpha.

In the next five years, Jacob and the research teams expect an additional 200 jobs on the HudsonAlpha campus as a result of the move.

“In seven years, we’ve gone from two faculty members and eight companies to where we are now, with 15 faculty members and more than two dozen companies,” said Rick Myers, HudsonAlpha President and Science Director. “Think about where we’re going to be in another seven years.”

About HudsonAlpha: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit institute dedicated to innovating in the field of genomic technology and sciences across a spectrum of biological challenges. Founded in 2008, its mission is four-fold: sparking scientific discoveries that can impact human health and well-being; bringing genomic medicine into clinical care; fostering biotech entrepreneurship; and encouraging the creation of a genomics-literate workforce and society. The HudsonAlpha biotechnology campus consists of 152 acres nestled within Cummings Research Park, the nation’s second largest research park. Designed to be a hothouse of biotech economic development, HudsonAlpha’s state-of-the-art facilities co-locate nonprofit scientific researchers with entrepreneurs and educators. The relationships formed on the HudsonAlpha campus encourage collaborations that produce advances in medicine and agriculture. Under the leadership of Dr. Richard M. Myers, a key collaborator on the Human Genome Project, HudsonAlpha has become a national and international leader in genetics and genomics research and biotech education, and includes 29 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit: http://hudsonalpha.org/.

Media Contact:
Margetta Thomas 
256-327-0425
mthomas@hudsonalpha.org 

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