27 Apr 2018

HudsonAlpha Spring Benefit honors a Decade of Discovery

HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology hosted the annual Spring Benefit Thursday, April 26, 2018, where more than 600 HudsonAlpha supporters gathered at the Jackson Center to celebrate the institute’s ten-year anniversary and a Decade of Discovery.

Attendees heard institute leaders, supporters and state leaders discuss HudsonAlpha’s impact on their lives and the community. Special guest speakers included Gov. Bob Riley, who attended the first groundbreaking ceremony for the 601 building.

“What you are doing in North Alabama is different from anything else and people want to come to Huntsville, Alabama,” said Riley.

Guests also heard testimonials from Cyndi Jones, Dr. Aruna Arora and Alex Wade.

Cyndi Jones of Huntsville is a parent to at least two sons with a very rare form of high cholesterol. She turned to the Smith Family Clinic to get a confirmed diagnosis.

“I needed the diagnosis confirmed, and that felt like a relief to just get that answer,” said Jones.

Dr. Aruna Arora is the co-medical director of Crestwood ALS Care Clinic in Huntsville. Dr. Arora is one of the collaborating physicians for the HudsonAlpha/Crestwood Impacting ALS project.

“This project is extremely exciting because we can offer something innovative and on the forefront for our patients here locally,” said Dr. Arora, “and at such a great institution like HudsonAlpha, that’s already made it’s mark.”

Alex Wade is UAB graduate who said conducting a strawberry DNA extraction during  HudsonAlpha’s Middle School Biotech Camps inspired her to pursue a career in STEM.

“This was a relatively simple experiment, but it sparked my interest in molecular biology,” said Wade.

NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, was at the ribbon-cutting ceremony in 2008. Dr. Collins was unable to attend the Spring Benefit but he recorded a special video congratulating HudsonAlpha on ten years: https://vimeo.com/266714716/f023965f71

“I can’t help but reflect back on being with you all ten years ago when HudsonAlpha held its grand opening,” siad Collins. “I could tell that this was going to be a special place and I was particularly happy to be there. Best wishes and congratulations to everyone there on an amazing ten years.”

Funds raised at the Spring Benefit will support HudsonAlpha’s Decade of Discovery: Building for the Future campaign. If you would like more information about this campaign, contact the HudsonAlpha Foundation at foundation@hudsonalpha.org or visit hudsonalpha.org/foundation/naming-opportunities.

“Lonnie and I wanted to make biotechnology a permanent fixture in economic development in the state,” said Jim Hudson, co-founder of HudsonAlpha. “It’s been ten years and everything that we dreamed of has come true.”


Check out this video about our Decade of Discovery featuring HudsonAlpha co-founder Jim Hudson, supporters Sue Whitehead, Emily Robertson, Governor Bob Riley, Roger Bedford, Loretta Spencer and Bud Cramer; and patients diagnosed by HudsonAlpha and the Smith Family Clinic.