About Richard Myers

Richard M. Myers Faculty
Faculty Investigator

Email: rmyers@hudsonalpha.org
Phone: 256-327-0431
Location: 601 Genome Way, Huntsville, AL 35806

Genomic and genetic analysis of human traits and disease 

Richard Myers, PhD, is passionate about changing the world through genomics—a vision profoundly shaped by his leadership role in the Human Genome Project. Myers led a team at the Stanford Human Genome Center that contributed more than 10 percent of the data in the public Human Genome Project’s efforts to sequence the human genome.

“While I think we knew working on the Human Genome Project that it would be the basis for all this research,” Myers says, “I really don’t think I would have predicted at the time that we could turn it into something so quickly where we could look at a genetic blueprint and apply it to medical solutions or agricultural and environmental solutions. Now we’re doing exactly that, and there is so much more to come.”

During his tenure as the president, science director, and faculty investigator at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Myers has contributed to many discoveries in the genomic sciences that are improving the human condition around the globe. Myers’ lab at HudsonAlpha studies the human genome to understand how changes in the genome contribute to human traits, including human diseases and behaviors.

“Genes are like instructions and instructions, just like words on a page, can have a typographical error, a mistake,” Myers says.  “If you have a mistake, it can cause a mild problem, or it can cause something severe, even deadly. We are interested not only in genetic variation that we are born with but also how variation in the expression of the genome in people contributes to health and disease.”

The Myers Lab also applies genomic approaches to identify sections of the genome related to clinical and basic biological problems. They examine how genes interacting with the environment contribute to human diseases and other traits, and they work to understand how the human genome is involved in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder. These studies focus on understanding the causes of these diseases and developing therapeutic approaches to mitigate them, as well as on identifying blood-based biomarker tests for early detection and monitoring the progression of these disorders.

Myers, a native of Selma and Tuscaloosa, Ala., received his BS in biochemistry from the University of Alabama in 1976 and his PhD in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1982. After completing his postdoctoral training at Harvard University, he joined the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center in 1985. He moved to Stanford University in 1993, where he served as professor and chair in the department of genetics until he moved to HudsonAlpha in 2008.

1982-1985 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Harvard University with Dr. Tom Maniatis

1982 PhD in Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley

1976-1982 Graduate Student, Department of Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley, with Dr. Robert Tjian

1976 BS in Biochemistry, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

1972-1976 Undergraduate Student, Department of Biology, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, research with Dr. Clifford Hand and Dr. John Hardman

2022-present Chief Scientific Officer and President emeritus, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology

2020- present M. A. Loya Chair in Genomics, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology

2008-present Faculty Investigator, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology

2008-present Adjunct Faculty Member, Department of Genetics, University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center

2008-present Adjunct Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama in Huntsville

2008-2022 President and Science Director, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Huntsville, Alabama

2002-2008 Stanford W. Ascherman Professor and Chairman, Department of Genetics and Director, Stanford Human Genome Center, Stanford University School of Medicine

1996-2002 Professor and Co-Chair of Genetics and Director, Stanford Human Genome Center, Stanford University School of Medicine

1993 – 1996 Associate Professor of Genetics and Director, Stanford Human Genome Center, Stanford University School of Medicine

1990-1993 Associate Professor of Physiology and Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Director, Human Genome Center, University of California, San Francisco

1985-1990 Assistant Professor of Physiology and Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco

2022 Alabama Academy of Honor member

2020 Wright A. Gardner Award, Alabama Academy of Science

2019 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher – Molecular Biology and Genetics

2018 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher- Molecular Biology and Genetics

2017 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher- Molecular Biology and Genetics

2016 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher- Molecular biology and Genetics

2015 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher- Biology and Biochemistry

2011 AAAS Fellow, The American Association for the Advancement of Science

2009 Leadership Alabama Inductee, Class 20

2005 Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters, University of Alabama

2003 Blount Initiative Award, University of Alabama

2002 Pritzker Foundation Award, University of Michigan

2002 Darden Lecture Award, University of Alabama

1986-2003 Wills Foundation Award, UCSF/Stanford

1987-1990 Searle Scholar, UCSF

1988 Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award, UCSF

1984-1985 Leukemia Society of America Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard

1982-1984 Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund Fellowship, Harvard

1980-1981 Honor Students’ Society, UC Berkeley

1979-1980 Regents Fellowship, UC Berkeley

1977-1978 Abraham Rosenberg and Kaiser Fellowships, UC Berkeley

1975 Phi Beta Kappa, University of Alabama