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Huntsville, Ala. — HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology will host the eighth annual Tie the Ribbons luncheon September 22, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. at the Von Braun Center in downtown Huntsville. The event will support the Breakthrough Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research Team, a group of scientists committed to the goal of using genomic science and HudsonAlpha’s state-of-the-art technology to make new discoveries in breast and ovarian cancers. Through collaborations with scientists around the nation, the team is working to find biomarkers that lead to earlier, more accurate diagnoses and new pathways for more effective and targeted treatments.
Faculty Investigator Sara Cooper, PhD, will give an update on the team’s latest research at the event.
“The problems we’re trying to tackle are very personal,” said Cooper. “When I see my friends and family facing cancer, it makes me feel ever so slightly better to say I’m working on solving it.”
Attendees will also hear from Kimberly Strong, PhD, HudsonAlpha faculty investigator and director of the Ethics and Genomics program. Strong will give an update on the Information is Power initiative, a unique initiative launched in October 2015 that offers free breast and ovarian cancer risk genetic testing to 30-year-old women in the Huntsville/Madison County area. HudsonAlpha is collaborating with genetic testing company Kailos Genetics, a HudsonAlpha associate company.
“We’ve processed test kits for close to 400 30-year-old women,” said Strong. “Overall, around four percent of the tests have been positive, which means there is a mutation in one of the genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer.”
The genetic screening tool was created by Kailos. It screens for mutations in the well-known BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, as well as additional genes linked to other cancers.
“It is our goal to make genetic testing available to all people,” said Troy Moore, chief scientific officer of Kailos Genetics. “Understanding what’s in one’s DNA can help people and their doctors make more informed health decisions.”
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: http://hudsonalpha.org/.
About Kailos: Kailos Genetics is a trusted provider of personalized health information. Addressing unmet needs of healthcare consumers and their families is Kailos’ primary reason for being. With its proprietary and robust DNA sequencing enrichment and laboratory information system, TargetRichTM, Kailos helps make personalized medicine affordable and accessible for everyone through the PraxisTM test. Founded in 2010, and based in Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Kailos is committed to providing a simple, trusted and affordable way to help individuals understand what’s in their genes. To learn more, visit www.praxiscanhelp.com/about-kailos.
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Christina Kendall, Dodge Communications