Jim Hudson

Jim Hudson

Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus for HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology

Jim Hudson

Jim Hudson is co-founder and Chairman Emeritus for the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. Ever the optimist and a true believer in people, Jim is a friend and mentor to countless scientists, entrepreneurs, and artists in Alabama and far beyond its borders. 

Kindred spirit of those that made space exploration a reality, Jim believes that the life sciences have made and continues to make a transformative positive impact to men and women throughout the world. The advances in treatments and cures are the applications of the item of paramount significance in science: knowledge. 

From early in life, Jim pursued understanding and knowledge through education and experience. Jim, a life-long learner, is a product of Huntsville public schools, the University of Alabama, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He served in the ROTC during his time at the University of Alabama, then moved into active duty with the Army and flew missions as a pilot during the Vietnam War. This experience not only shaped his life, for his service, Jim earned a Distinguished Flying Cross.

After serving in Vietnam, Jim returned home and joined his father and brother in the family’s foundry business. Together, the father and sons made the company successful and after selling the company, Jim started Research Genetics. This company, founded in 1987, played a key role in the Human Genome Project. This initiative to understand the human genome was the ultimate pursuit of knowledge at the time.

Upon the acquisition of Research Genetics in 2000, Jim and HudsonAlpha co-founder and friend, Lonnie McMillian, turned their attention to creating an institute that would leverage discovery-based research from academia into products and services to commercialize by entrepreneurs and start-up companies. This would become HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology only a few years later.

Jim has been a founding board member of BIO Alabama, the Partnership for Biotechnology Research, and countless biotech startups. Always willing to lend an ear or offer advice, Jim’s counsel is invaluable to the first-time entrepreneur and seasoned CEO alike.

Honored and recognized by many for his contributions to the business, scientific, artistic, and Huntsville communities, Jim is quick to say that the building blocks for his success start with his family: his children, grandchildren, and his wife, Lynn.

Any profile of Jim should always end with “…to be continued” since his boundless energy and enthusiasm drives him to do more.


  • Alabama Business Hall of Fame
  • Alabama Innovation Lifetime Achievement Award, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama
  • Entrepreneur Champion, Women’s Business Center of North Alabama
  • Alabama State Council on the Arts, Special Council Legacy Award