Breakthrough Breast Cancer

In November 2014, at the annual Tie the Ribbons luncheon, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology presented Mary-Claire King, Ph.D., with a Life Sciences Prize for extraordinary career achievement. King is the scientist who discovered that the BRCA 1 gene predicts hereditary breast cancer. It was a revolutionary breakthrough that took 17 years of dedicated perseverance and now impacts thousands of women.

Watch the emotional video of three individuals who share their personal experiences with breast cancer and a plea for people to do something now to find the next major cancer discovery.

King’s discovery makes it possible for women to know if they carry the BRCA 1 gene mutation. Having that information gives people power over cancer – power to make choices that could save their lives.

But 17 years is too long for breakthrough discoveries. Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer in women worldwide. More than 232,000 women will be diagnosed this year in the U.S. alone.

Honoring the passion and perseverance of Mary-Claire King, HudsonAlpha launched the Breakthrough Breast Cancer initiative to add new faculty investigators dedicated to cancer genomic research in the hopes of finding the next major breakthrough for treating breast cancer. These new faculty members will join the team of HudsonAlpha scientists who are some of the most influential and effective in the world, and thrive in the Institute’s culture of collaboration, innovation and results.

The goal of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Fund is its name: to fund the next major breakthrough in breast cancer by recruiting world-class scientists who will use genomic research to pinpoint avenues for earlier, less invasive diagnostics and precise, targeted treatments.

To support the transformational and ambitious strategic plan, HudsonAlpha will conduct a multi-year Comprehensive Campaign. This campaign will support the goals described in the strategic plan. One of these goals is to double the Institute’s scientific impact. By recruiting new faculty investigators specializing in cancer research, the Breakthrough Breast Cancer initiative contributes to this goal.

For more information on supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer, contact Elizabeth Herrin at 256-327-0442 or

The HudsonAlpha Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the supporting entity for the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. Tax-deductible contributions to the foundation are for the sole purpose of advancing the mission of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. 

Tax identification #27-2320591