HudsonAlpha to host Tie the Ribbons luncheon, launch ‘Information is Power’ initiative

This event is sold out

Huntsville, Ala. —The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology will host a sellout crowd of 1,400 at the 7th annual Tie the Ribbons luncheon Thursday, Oct. 29 at 11:30 am at the Von Braun Center in downtown Huntsville. The event will support HudsonAlpha’s Information is Power initiative.

Information is Power is a unique one-year initiative that will launch at Tie the Ribbons and offers free breast and ovarian cancer risk genetic testing to all 30-year-old women in the Huntsville/Madison county community.

The idea for the first-of-its-kind program comes from a challenge issued to HudsonAlpha at the 2014 Tie the Ribbons luncheon. Keynote speaker and world-renowned scientist Mary-Claire King, PhD, encouraged HudsonAlpha to be the first to offer this type of genetic screening to all women regardless of family history. Dr. King discovered the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer; this year marks the 25th anniversary of that groundbreaking discovery.

Dr. Kimberly Strong, faculty investigator and director of the Ethics and Genomics program at HudsonAlpha will give this year’s keynote address.

“Our initiative aims to conduct larger population-level testing to raise awareness of genetic and traditional screening methods,” said Dr. Strong. “It gives another piece of the puzzle as to what might be going on, what someone’s risk might be.”

Guest speaker Debra Jenkins will share her unique perspective as a woman who tested positive for one of the BRCA1 mutations that increases risk for breast and ovarian cancer and had to make decisions around preventive surgery.

“I went to Tie the Ribbons last year and just so happened to be in the middle of trying to decide what to do with my BRCA result,” said Jenkins. “I hope that sharing my story can help somebody else the way the women last year helped me.”

Other speakers include breast cancer survivor Leslie Conway, HudsonAlpha President and Scientific Director Richard Myers, PhD; and co-founder Jim Hudson. Irma Tuder will host the event.

Those who attend Tie the Ribbons will have the first opportunity to receive a test kit, created by Huntsville personalized medicine information company Kailos Genetics, and enroll in Information is Power that same day.

In addition to the free screening being offered to 30-year old women in Madison County, all men and women ages 19 and over in Madison County and surrounding Alabama counties will have the opportunity to participate in the genetic testing for a discounted price of $99. To learn more, visit

About HudsonAlpha: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a genomic science and applications nonprofit organization. It is a high-volume genomic data producer serving thousands of academic, clinical and commercial clients’ needs. The Institute is a global scientific collaborator valued for its genomic data analysis and interpretation to solve some of the most pressing questions in cancer, undiagnosed childhood genetic disorders, neuropsychiatric disorders, immune-mediated disease, agriculture and public health. Its unique 152 acre campus melds the boundaries between nonprofit scientists, educators and entrepreneurs so that collaboration sparks innovation and growth. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit:

HudsonAlpha Media Contact:
Margetta Thomas
Communications Specialist