HudsonAlpha leadership works to make the vision of our co-founders come to life by promoting the development of research-driven discovery, enterprise and creating a genetically-literate society.
Greg Barsh, MD, PhD, is the faculty chair and a faculty investigator at HudsonAlpha. He is also a Professor Emeritus at Stanford University. Barsh joined the Institute in 2009 and studies the genetic mechanisms that underlie differences in individual appearance and for which a deeper understanding promises new insight into both basic biology and human disease. He earned his MD and PhD in human genetics and pathology from the University of Washington in Seattle. Click here to view Barsh’s faculty website.
Flo Behn, PhD, is the director of research affairs at HudsonAlpha. She joined the Institute in 2009. In her role, Behn leads HudsonAlpha’s sponsored projects administration office and supports activities that help secure grant funding for existing and emerging research programs. Behn also held previous positions at the Institute as the research affairs coordinator and a research scientist in the Myers Lab. She earned her BS in biology from the University of Toledo and PhD in genetics from Stanford University.
Michael Bryan is the legal affairs and compliance officer at HudsonAlpha. He joined HudsonAlpha in 2014 and provides counsel and guidance on all legal and risk matters and advice to the Institute on ethics and compliance-related issues, requirements, and best practices. Bryan is a member of the Alabama bar and a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional. Prior to joining HudsonAlpha, he was the research affairs compliance officer at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, served 11 years as general counsel to an Alabama telecommunications company and Family Office of associated companies, and worked in private practice. While in private practice, he also served as a deputy attorney general under Alabama Attorneys General Sessions and Evans. Bryan is a graduate of the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama Hugh F. Culverhouse School of Law.
Lara Kohl Burhenn joined the Institute in 2019 to lead the communications department at HudsonAlpha, overseeing web, social media, news media, internal and external communications. She has nearly 20 years of strategic communications experience in both the public and private sectors. Burhenn earned her BA in communications/print journalism from Wichita State University and is a graduate of the Governor’s Executive Development Program from The LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
Jane Grimwood, PhD, serves as the faculty liaison at HudsonAlpha and co-directs the HudsonAlpha Genome Sequencing Center (HGSC). She joined HudsonAlpha in 2008. In 2000, Grimwood was a senior scientist at the Stanford Human Genome Center where she and her group were responsible for finishing and performing quality analysis on the 320 million base pairs of human chromosomes 5, 16 and 19, comprising more than 10 percent of the human genome. Grimwood earned her PhD in microbiology from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Click here to view Grimwood’s faculty website.
Elizabeth Herrin serves as the director of external relations at HudsonAlpha. She joined the Institute in 2007 and is a member of the advancement team for the HudsonAlpha Foundation. Herrin works with individual and corporate donors to achieve their philanthropic goals and connect them with HudsonAlpha’s mission of improving health and well-being. In addition, she manages two of HudsonAlpha’s annual fundraising events, the Spring Benefit and the Tie the Ribbons luncheon, and leads the Ambassador program. Herrin worked in the for-profit sector prior to coming to HudsonAlpha. Her experience includes working for Nortel Networks as a senior manager in Organizational Development, as well as the Walt Disney Company where she worked in marketing and promotions. Herrin earned her MBA from Vanderbilt University.
Karen Lefevre is the director of human resources at HudsonAlpha. She joined the Institute in 2019 and previously worked for Caterpillar, Inc. in Texas where she successfully led campus human resources planning, initiatives and execution. Lefevre has worked for a number of years in human resources and is experienced in leading and supporting companies in human resources both with logistical details as well as work culture. She earned her BA in biology from Sonoma State University and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and a Senior Certified Professional.
Shawn Levy, PhD, is the director of the Genomic Services Laboratory (GSL) at HudsonAlpha and a faculty investigator. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Levy joined HudsonAlpha in 2009. His team uses high performance genotyping and sequencing technologies to support projects from plant and animal phylogenetic studies to translational and clinical-based projects at the GSL. Levy earned his BS in biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire and PhD in biochemistry from Emory University in Atlanta. Click here to view Levy’s faculty website.
Karen Petersen leads the annual and planned giving efforts for HudsonAlpha. She joined HudsonAlpha in 2009. In her role, Petersen focuses on major gifts, estate planning and annual support for the HudsonAlpha Foundation. By strategically, creatively and enthusiastically sharing HudsonAlpha’s mission, she works to create and develop meaningful relationships and collaborations, generating financial support and advocacy. Petersen earned her BA in english, communications from the College of St. Benedict.
Jeremy Schmutz co-directs the HudsonAlpha Genome Sequencing Center (HGSC) and also a faculty investigator. He joined the Institute in 2008. In 1996, he joined the Stanford Human Genome Center where he and his group finished and assembled the human sequence of chromosomes 5, 16 and 19 for the Human Genome Project. He also led the quality assessment of the human genome sequence that evaluated the accuracy and completeness of the final human genome sequence. He earned his BS in computer science and a BA in biology from North Central College in Naperville, IL. Click here to read Schmutz’s faculty profile.
Michael Speigle is the controller for HudsonAlpha and joined the Institute in 2013 after spending four years in public accounting. He is an experienced financial manager with a demonstrated history of working in the nonprofit accounting industry with a specialized focus in budgeting, forecasting and federal grant compliance. He earned his BS in accounting and business administration from Birmingham Southern College with a minor in finance.
Amy Sturdivant, as the director of business recruitment, supports HudsonAlpha’s economic development mission to foster the success of bioscience companies. She joined the Institute in 2016 and recruits biotech entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes and stages to the 152-acre HudsonAlpha campus. Sturdivant graduated from Miami University with undergraduate degrees in environmental design (architecture) and in interdisciplinary studies, then continued to University of Illinois for graduate studies in Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning.
Gregg Tyree is the senior director of operations at HudsonAlpha. He joined the Institute start-up team in October 2007. In his role, Tyree is responsible for the operation, maintenance and repair of all buildings, grounds and core equipment, leasing, construction, cafe/vending, Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS), security, material/inventory management and furnishings. He earned his BS in business from Athens State University and a MBA from Florida Institute of Technology. Tyree is Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and is also a Certified Facility Manager (CFM). He is also a member of The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and also serves on the board of directors for the North Alabama Chapter of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA).
Danny Windham is the chief operating officer at HudsonAlpha. He joined the Institute in 2019 and has more than 20 years of leadership experience, serving as president and COO at Adtran (2005 – 2007) as well as CEO at Digium (2007 – 2018). Windham is actively involved in the entrepreneurial community and has supported the development of multiple startups. He also has a strong commitment to giving back to his community and serves on multiple boards including the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce, Biztech and Leadership Alabama. He was also chairman of the Madison YMCA fundraising committee and a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight, a nonprofit organization that provides free air transportation for individuals with any legitimate, charitable, medically related need. Windham earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from Mississippi State University, where he was named a Distinguished Engineering Fellow in 2001, and MBA from Florida Tech.
Pete Yanul leads the finance and accounting team and is responsible for all aspects of financial operations, financial analysis, modeling, budgeting, forecasting and performance management, with the goal of setting the Institute on a path toward long-term sustainability and building its reputation for transparency and operational excellence. He joined HudsonAlpha in 2014 and has more than 25 years of diverse financial management experience, having spent the last 10 years in the biotech and medical device industries. Yanul is a native New Yorker and previously served in financial leadership roles at Nektar Therapeutics and Open Biosystems/Thermo Fisher Scientific and considers his return to Huntsville, Ala., an exciting homecoming. Yanul earned his BS in accounting from Le Moyne College and MBA from Syracuse University.