Collaborative environment unique to the institute attracts new scientists

Dr. Richard Myers, president and director of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, is pleased to announce the addition of Faculty Investigators Drs. Greg Barsh and Shawn Levy. “With Dr. Barsh and Dr. Levy, the institute is gaining a remarkable combination of expertise in genetics and genomics research, particularly relating to human diseases,” said Myers.

Both scientists were attracted by the unique infrastructure afforded by HudsonAlpha’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,” noted Barsh, “but at HudsonAlpha those components are integrated more closely and with greater potential synergy than any other setting of which I’m aware.”

“This is a young organization and it is tremendously gratifying to attract outstanding scientists who will have a profound impact to not only the institute and its growth, but to the entire biomedical research field,” Myers said. The skills and experience that Barsh and Levy bring, he added, are highly complementary to the institute’s current and planned programs of research.

Dr. Barsh

Barsh, a physician-scientist who comes to HudsonAlpha from the Stanford University School of Medicine, has provided valuable insights to the biology of skin pigmentation, 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.”

LevyLevy 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.” 

Since opening the institute in April 2008, Myers has continued building a powerhouse of experts who bring strength and integrity to the entire Alabama life sciences community.