The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has named Neil Lamb, PhD as the 2021 recipient of the Arno Motulsky-Barton Childs Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Education. Dr. Lamb is a faculty investigator and vice president for educational outreach at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Ala.
Lamb oversees all educational programming developed at HudsonAlpha, including the creation of innovative teacher training, student experiences, public enrichment, classroom kits and digital resources that re-shape how science education is delivered.
The award, which includes a plaque with a $10,000 prize, recognizes individuals for contributions of exceptional quality and importance to human genetics education internationally. Awardees have had long-standing involvement in genetics education, producing diverse contributions of substantive influence on individuals and/or organizations.
“Neil’s creative and engaging approach to connecting with people at all levels allows him to make the most complex topics understandable,” said Richard M. Myers, PhD, President and Science Director and M. A. Loya Chair in Genomics at HudsonAlpha. “Neil built HudsonAlpha’s educational outreach program from the ground up, and it now reaches not only across the state of Alabama, but across the country and around the globe.”
“He is an extremely talented and dedicated genetics and genomics educator and serves as an inspiration to the next generation of educators and mentors in our field,” said Gail Jarvik, MD, PhD, president of ASHG. “I am personally pleased to recognize Dr. Lamb’s work with this award that is co-named for my own mentor.”
Among his many accomplishments, in early 2019, Lamb was appointed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey to lead the Governor’s Advisory Council for Excellence in STEM. The meetings with the council resulted in the creation of Alabama’s Roadmap to Excellence in STEM.
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Lamb expanded his bi-weekly Shareable Science blog into a video series aimed at reducing misinformation about the virus and providing an easy to understand explanation of the science behind the disease, how it spreads and what scientists are doing to help diagnose and treat the disease. The video series garnered nearly 200,000 views from people all across the country.
Lamb completed his PhD and postgraduate training at Emory University in Atlanta where he was a faculty member in human genetics and responsible for lab management, bioethics oversight and genetic education in the school of medicine. His career shifted from hands-on science to science education when he realized that he had found his true calling: inspiring a passion for human genetics and technology in others. He joined HudsonAlpha in 2006 to lead the educational outreach team.
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 45 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit hudsonalpha.org.