Huntsville, Ala. — The Madison County Commission has given $100,000 to the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology to support The Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine and the Institute’s genetic breast and ovarian cancer genetic risk program, Information is Power.
“I am very proud to be associated with HudsonAlpha,” said Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong, “because they touch so many lives, not just in Madison County but around the world. Being able to assist with the important work to be done at this clinic is something that I am honored to be a small part of.”
On November 20, 2015, HudsonAlpha, in collaboration with Children’s of Alabama and University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Medicine, opened the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine. Led by medical director Dr. David Bick, the clinic focuses on utilizing the power of the genomic sequence to identify the causes of illness in children and adults with undiagnosed disease.
Madison County has given $70,000 to support the clinic mission and $30,000 for the Information is Power initiative; these funds are from the Chairman’s budget.
“Our goal is to bring genomics into the practice of medicine and opening this clinic has put us on the path to do so,” said Bick. “Having the support of Madison County brings us one step closer to achieving that goal.”
In addition, HudsonAlpha launched the Information is Power initiative on October 29, 2015, which offers free breast and ovarian cancer genetic risk screening to 30-year-old women in the Huntsville/Madison County community for one year. Dale Strong announced his commitment of $30,000 for the initiative during the Information is Power news conference on Aug. 5.
“This is a groundbreaking initiative that has the possibility of providing access to information that can be life saving,” said Dr. Kimberly Strong, HudsonAlpha faculty investigator and program director for ethics and genomics. “It would not be possible without the support of the Madison County community and its leaders.”
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. Founded 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 biotech entrepreneurship; 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 29 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit: http://hudsonalpha.org/.
About the Smith Family Clinic: The Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine has been established to identify the causes of undiagnosed diseases believed to be genetic in origin. By using the most advanced sequencing technology in HudsonAlpha’s Clinical Services Laboratory to perform whole genome sequencing, the clinic will help families and physicians find answers to these unknown causes of disease. World-renowned pioneers in clinical genomics and experts at analyzing genomic data will lead the clinic in identifying changes in the DNA linked to a patient’s disease, and ultimately help physicians learn more about the disease process and lead them to new therapies for their patients. In addition, HudsonAlpha offers a growing biotech hub to small companies and start-ups by providing access to outside experts, marketing direction and strategic networking opportunities. To learn more, visit www.smithfamilyclinic.org