Double Helix Dash to benefit childhood genetic disorders research

Huntsville, Ala. — HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology will host the sixth annual Double Helix Dash 5K and one-mile fun run Tuesday, April 4.

The unique race winds through the double helix path at McMillian Park on the Institute’s campus in Huntsville. The pathway, built to mimic the structure of DNA, is the world’s largest model of the double helix.

The race supports childhood genetic disorders research at HudsonAlpha. This year’s childhood champion is Anna Brooke Ainsworth, whose rare condition was diagnosed by scientists at the Institute. Click here to watch her story.

In addition, dancers from Merrimack Hall in Huntsville will entertain the crowd prior to the race, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Merrimack will host its 3rd Annual Recital Run 5K & Fun Run on Saturday, March, 25th 2017. Click here to register and learn more.

Greg Cooper, PhD, HudsonAlpha faculty investigator, will also speak briefly about advances in rare childhood disease research.

“I never dreamed ten years ago that we’d be using genetics on a daily basis and actually be doing something that not only was contributing to our general knowledge about how genetics shapes our health, but in fact contributes in a very direct way a particular person or particular family,” said Cooper. “It’s very gratifying to make these kinds of discoveries and it’s also motivation to work harder.”

Demetria McClenton from WAAY-TV is the emcee.

The Double Helix Dash is presented by HudsonAlpha and the Huntsville Track Club. To register for this unique weekday evening race, visit

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. Opened 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 life sciences entrepreneurship and business growth; 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 more than 30 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit:

HudsonAlpha Media Contact:
Margetta Thomas