HudsonAlpha scientist awarded NIH grant to continue Alzheimer disease research

August 31, 2020 (Huntsville, Ala.) – Nick Cochran, PhD, a senior postdoctoral scientist in the Myers lab at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, has been selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to receive a Pathway to Independence (K99) training grant. The NIH Pathway to Independence Awards help outstanding postdoctoral researchers transition from mentored, postdoctoral research positions to independent faculty positions. 

Over the next year, Cochran will continue his research into discovering new genetic targets for the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer disease. While his discoveries will have broad applicability for other gene-disease associations, his immediate project over the next year will focus on understanding the regulation of the gene that codes for tau, a protein whose abnormalities have extensive implications for Alzheimer disease pathology and progression. 

Nick Cochran, PhD

“I am honored to receive this award,” says Cochran. “This would not have been possible without the excellent training environment at HudsonAlpha. This type of grant will allow me to establish an independent research program, which will give me the ability to maximize my impact in research on Alzheimer disease and related disorders.”

In addition to the research conducted as a part of this grant, Cochran will undergo a formal mentoring program in genomics and career development under the leadership of Rick Myers, PhD, President, Science Director and M. A. Loya Chair in Genomics at HudsonAlpha, and co-mentor Greg Cooper, PhD, faculty investigator at HudsonAlpha. The one-year training program is followed by a three-year structured independent research program. 

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute On Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K99AG068271. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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 fosters more than 40 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit

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