Debut of a new partnership: Physicians for HudsonAlpha

(Left to right) Drs. Richard Spera, Don Wheeler and Darren Malone at the Physicians for HudsonAlpha inaugural event.

Delivering on the promise of genomics to translate laboratory research into tangible benefits requires collaboration between researchers, biotechnology companies and physicians, which is why HudsonAlpha has initiated Physicians for HudsonAlpha.

The initiative kicked off June 9 at a reception where local physicians were invited to HudsonAlpha to network with each other and with HudsonAlpha researchers and resident companies. Attendees also heard from HudsonAlpha leadership about how the Institute and physicians can work together.

“Our community of physicians is critical to the success of HudsonAlpha,” said HudsonAlpha President and Director Rick Myers. “Physicians for HudsonAlpha will help keep us at the forefront of research, providing cutting-edge equipment critical to drive discovery in all disease areas.”

The physicians who are part of this new group believe in the potential for advances in genomic medicine to address some of the most pressing health issues in the world today.

“Genomics is the future of medicine,” said Richard Spera, M.D., owner of the Alabama Center for Infectious Disease. “We have to focus our energy on the applications for diagnosis and for products to help us see how someone is going to respond to certain treatments. Potentially we can find out what causes side effects in some patients.”

Katheen Felker, radiologist at Radiology of Huntsville, said collaboration between HudsonAlpha and physicians makes perfect sense. “We all have the same common goal,” Felker said, “to make people better.”

Joanne Moorman, wife of Huntsville physician Dr. Bob Moorman, sees the benefit of the partnership both from the perspective of the medical community and as a patient. A multiple myeloma patient, Moorman described herself as a testament to the power of modern medicine.

“There are all kinds of diseases and problems facing the world right now that we are just a stone’s throw away from solving,” Moorman said. “It’s personally exciting to me not just for my own health but to see the people of the world that are going to be given another chance to live a few more years and have a good strong life because of the work that is going at HudsonAlpha right here in Huntsville.”