Dr. Greg Barsh (see bio) and Dr. Shawn Levy (see bio) have joined HudsonAlpha, bringing an expertise in genetics and genomics research to the institute. Both scientists have been busy setting up their labs and familiarizing themselves with the institute.
 
“I am looking forward to working in a collaborative environment like HudsonAlpha where I can interact with other scientists and entrepreneurs who work on creating applications for research like ours,” said Barsh.
 
Dr. BarshBarsh, a physician-scientist who comes to HudsonAlpha from the Stanford University School of Medicine, has provided valuable insights to pigmentation biology, diabetes and obesity, neurodegeneration, bone marrow failure and melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.  “For the last two decades, my lab has studied fundamental aspects of cell signaling and natural variation as a means to better understand, diagnose and treat human diseases,” said Barsh.  “We use mutations that affect easily observable traits—such as variation of eye, hair or skin colors—as entry points for more complex processes that are biomedically significant.”
 
LevyDr. Levy was attracted to HudsonAlpha for a number of reasons, including the  chance to work in concert with people involved in the research as well as the commercialization of technologies. “The opportunity to interact with entrepreneurs and the community at large is very appealing to me. I am looking forward to living in Alabama and working with the talented people at HudsonAlpha.” commented Levy.
 
Levy comes to HudsonAlpha from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he founded and directed the Vanderbilt Microarray Shared Resource.  The VMSR is recognized as a world-class genomics facility that has attracted numerous clients.  “Over the last nine years, I have been developing and optimizing technologies to support the research goals of not only my laboratory, but also the laboratories of hundreds of investigators from around the world,” Levy affirmed.  “HudsonAlpha provides the resources necessary to continue developing my research interests while the unique infrastructure supports the development of a rich, wide-ranging services operation.”
 
Both scientists were attracted to HudsonAlpha by the unique infrastructure afforded by the institute’s three-fold mission of genomics research, economic development and educational outreach.  “HudsonAlpha represents a model that will be duplicated by other institutions seeking to transform biotechnology for the betterment of healthcare and education,” said Levy.
 
“Entrepreneurship and community outreach are becoming increasingly recognized as important components of major universities,” added Barsh, “but at HudsonAlpha those components are integrated more closely and with greater potential synergy than any other setting of which I’m aware.”