HudsonAlpha host “Genomics 101” on Capitol Hill
Huntsville, Ala. — If you spell out every letter of your DNA– three billion bits of information for every human– how would you use it and why?
Two nationally renowned genomics scientists from the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology presented “Genomics 101” to an audience of more than 50 people, including legislators, professional and personal staffers, and representatives from various interest groups today on Capitol Hill.
Dr. Neil Lamb, vice president for educational outreach at HudsonAlpha, discussed the basics of genetics and genomics and their applications to human health. Dr. Howard Jacob, executive vice president for genomic medicine, presented specific examples of genomics being successfully used in a clinical setting. Dr. Jacob led the team who first used genomic sequencing to diagnose and successfully treat a patient, Nic Volker.
“Your DNA blueprint, or your genome, differs from everyone else in the world (unless you are an identical twin) by several million variants. That blueprint can inform your healthcare and the decisions you make whether you are ill with a rare undiagnosed disease, or simply seeking more information about the best medications for you, or what medical conditions you are more likely to develop throughout your life. I truly believe that if we practice healthcare using genomics, we will as a society will ultimately be healthier,” said Dr. Jacob.
“The Precision Medicine Initiative and bills such as 21st Century Cures rely on the advancement of genomic science. HudsonAlpha is a world leader in genomics education, and our mission on the Hill today was to introduce some of those concepts and to their applications to health and global sustainability,” said Dr. Lamb.
The session was hosted by Biomedical Research Caucus and Center Forward. Former Rep. Bud Cramer (D-AL) moderated the event.
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 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 32 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit: http://hudsonalpha.org/.