HudsonAlpha Foundation establishes ‘Hero Fund’

Huntsville, Ala. — The HudsonAlpha Foundation has received a $1,050,000 anonymous donation to establish the Hero Fund. This fund will help patients who need, but cannot afford access to genomic medicine. The announcement was made Feb. 29, 2016 on Rare Disease Day.

In November 2015, the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology opened the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine, LLC. The Clinic uses whole genome sequencing to diagnose patients living with rare, undiagnosed or misdiagnosed diseases. The Hero Fund will provide financial assistance to qualified Clinic patients.

“We consider the patients at the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine heroes,” said Howard Jacob, PhD; executive vice president for genomic medicine at HudsonAlpha. “They fight every single day, battling devastating disease, ineffective or no treatments and no answers.”

The donation will establish an Endowment Fund from which funds can be drawn to help patients. A qualified patient who comes to the Clinic may be eligible for assistance through the Hero Fund.

“The donor’s intent is to help as many patients as possible, so we have been tasked with raising matching funds,” said Lynne Berry, executive director of the Foundation. “Your ‘gene-erosity’ makes it possible to help those in need.”

To learn more or to support the Hero Fund, visit

The Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine, LLC is powered by the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Children’s of Alabama and UAB-Medicine.

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 30 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit:

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