HudsonAlpha celebrates 10th anniversary

Huntsville, Ala. ━ HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology will celebrate its ten-year anniversary and a “Decade of Discovery” on April 25, 2018.

Since opening its doors in 2008, HudsonAlpha has become a world leader in genomics, publishing more than 550 research papers, opening the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine, and impacting the lives of three million learners worldwide. It has also fostered a life sciences business ecosystem, with more than three dozen companies opening their doors on the HudsonAlpha campus in Cummings Research Park and generating more than $1.85B in economic impact.

HudsonAlpha is the brainchild of co-founders Jim Hudson and Lonnie McMillian.

“Lonnie and I wanted to create something that had never been done before,” said Hudson. “We wanted educators talking to researchers, researchers talking to entrepreneurs, and everybody working together in one space. It’s amazing to see how much HudsonAlpha has accomplished in just ten years.”

The grand opening took place on National DNA Day, April 25, 2008, which commemorates the discovery of the DNA double helix in 1953 and the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003. HudsonAlpha’s Educational Outreach team will host its annual social media blitz, known as GeneChat, on Wednesday, April 25 in honor of DNA Day. GeneChat gives students, teachers and the public the chance to have a virtual conversation with members of the institute and resident associate companies.

“Over the past ten years, we’ve seen that Jim and Lonnie’s model is a success,” said Neil Lamb, PhD, vice president for Educational Outreach at HudsonAlpha. “When you put world-class scientists right next door to entrepreneurs that can turn ideas into products that impact humanity, and then blend education into the mix, amazing things happen.”

HudsonAlpha is home to one-person startup companies and international leaders in the life sciences industry. The for-profit companies co-located on campus have shown 19 percent job growth in the past year – compared to the national job growth rate of 1.8 percent.

“From just a handful of startups ten years ago to 35 life sciences companies today, we continue to build a biotech hub in North Alabama,” said Carter Wells, vice president for economic development at HudsonAlpha. “Adding a premier new building at 800 Hudson Way allows us to continue recruiting new companies and provides our existing companies the opportunity to grow.”

The HudsonAlpha Foundation launched the Decade of Discovery: Building for the Future campaign to allow community members to financially support the work of the institute with naming opportunities across the campus, like the Paul Propst Center. Huntsville philanthropist and businessman William “Bill” Self Propst, Sr. made a generous donation to the HudsonAlpha Foundation. The Center is named in honor and memory of his father Paul, who was a minister in North Alabama.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to support such cutting-edge research that is happening right here in Huntsville,” said Propst.

The Paul Propst Center at 800 Hudson Way will open this fall.

The Paul Propst Center, which opens this fall, will include a media wall to highlight HudsonAlpha’s mission, history, research and programs. The wall is made possible by a generous donation from Ms. Loretta Spencer, former mayor of Huntsville.

“We are so lucky to have the quality of individuals doing their work here in Huntsville,” said Spencer. “Knowing that you are improving quality of life for people every day, I’m sure you are making a difference in some new person’s life.”

Under the direction of 15 faculty investigators, HudsonAlpha scientists have made discoveries in numerous areas including cancer, Alzheimer disease, ALS and agriculture; and have diagnosed 160 children with unexplained developmental delays. In addition, the HudsonAlpha Genome Sequencing Center (HGSC) and the Genomic Services Lab (GSL) make the institute a leader in genomic sequencing. To date, the HGSC has sequenced more than 110 organisms and the Genomic Services Lab (GSL) currently processes more than 400 terabytes of raw DNA sequence data each month.

“The impacts on our community, our state, and on genomic research and education worldwide have been tremendous,” said Rick Myers, PhD, HudsonAlpha President and Science Director. “It truly has been a decade of discovery and I look forward to seeing what we accomplish in the next decade.”

To contribute to the Decade of Discovery: Building for the Future campaign, visit

Video: HudsonAlpha co-founder Jim Hudson and President Rick Myers explain how scientists, educators and entrepreneurs work to explore, solve and inspire

About HudsonAlpha: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit institute dedicated to developing and applying scientific advances to health, agriculture, learning, and commercialization. Opened in 2008, HudsonAlpha’s vision is to leverage the synergy between discovery, education, medicine, and economic development in genomic sciences to improve the human condition around the globe. The HudsonAlpha biotechnology campus consists of 152 acres nestled within Cummings Research Park, the nation’s second largest research park. The state-of-the-art facilities co-locate nonprofit scientific researchers with entrepreneurs and educators. HudsonAlpha has become a national and international leader in genetics and genomics research and biotech education and includes more than 30 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit

HudsonAlpha Media Contact:
Margetta Thomas