About Jian Han
Location: 601 Genome Way, Huntsville, AL 35806
For Jian Han, MD, PhD, the immune system holds the key to unlocking disease diagnosis.
Han is a faculty investigator at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology where he develops new methods for diagnosing disease by looking at tiny molecular changes, speeding up the time it takes for a physician to diagnose a microbial infection, for instance. He also maps the personalized immunorepertoire, the body’s immune response to an external attacks.
“Our immune system knows best when it comes to diagnosing and treating a disease,” he says. “It’s more sensitive than any test we could invent.”
Han earned his MD from ShuZhou Medical College, ShuZhou, China, in 1983 and his PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1991. He founded Genaco Biomedical Products in 1996 and led the company as its CEO until 2003 and its CSO until 2007. He joined HudsonAlpha in 2007 and founded two associate companies, iCubate and iRepertoire, in 2009.
At HudsonAlpha, Han runs the Repertoire 10,000 (R10K) project, which analyzes the immune signatures of diseases related to autoimmunity, inflammation, cancer and infectious disease. Because individual immune systems could respond similarly to a particular disease, the project is looking for a common immune system imprint, visually represented in colorful images, that could be used to recognize disease. The goal of the project is to develop a simple, low-cost and accurate method for disease diagnosis and monitoring.
“Developing these tools to help scientists better understand diseases,” Han says, “and to be the first to look at the data and solve a puzzle is extremely rewarding.”