Huntsville family establishes HudsonAlpha psychiatric research fund to honor loved one

Huntsville, Ala. — HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology announced today the Partesotti-Siniard Memorial Fund for Psychiatric Research.

In 2011, Rebecca Partesotti died from suicide after a years-long battle with depression. Rebecca’s parents Susan and Larry Partesotti, her sister Mollie Partesotti; along with Susan’s brother (Rebecca’s uncle) Tommy Siniard, his wife Susan Siniard and sister Paula Siniard Tally (Rebecca’s aunt) established the fund in her honor.

“When Rebecca was in the second grade her mom and I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. ‘I want to be someone who helps old people’ was her reply,” said Larry Partesotti, Rebecca’s father. “Twenty years later, Rebecca’s compass was still heading to True North as she was supervising The Elder Division of Maryland Legal Aid. Shortly thereafter, mental illness cut her career and eventually her life short. The thought of potentially making continued progress into creating solutions and cures to mental health issues is something that is very important to Susan and I and we are glad to move forward with our daughter, Mollie, Paula and the Siniard family in this important work.”

Since 1949, the month of May has been deemed Mental Health Month to raise awareness about mental illness and related issues in the U.S. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health Issues, 43.8 million adults experience mental illness in a given year. Ninety percent of individuals who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness.

“No one wants to talk about it, but it’s as real as the rain and as lethal as cancer,” said Siniard, an attorney at the law firm of Siniard, Timberlake & League. “We want to spread awareness of mental illnesses such as depression and make life better for millions of Americans.”

The Myers lab at HudsonAlpha, led by President and Science Director Rick Myers, PhD, is making advances in neurological and psychiatric diseases, including major depressive disorder.

“Our researchers are working every day to improve the lives of individuals suffering from some of the most devastating diseases like depression,” said Myers, “and support from the Partesotti-Siniard family brings us one step closer to doing so.”

“We believe in the research that is happening at HudsonAlpha so we established this fund to not only honor Rebecca, but accelerate advancements in psychiatric disorders,” said Susan Partesotti, Rebecca’s mother.

Named funds at HudsonAlpha can be designated to contribute to the work of the Institute or to specific areas of research. Individuals can donate to an existing fund or establish a fund of their own, such as the Partesotti-Siniard Memorial Fund for Psychiatric Research.

If you would like to contribute, visit and specify Partesotti-Siniard Memorial Fund in the comments section.


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

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Margetta Thomas