Statewide Organization Brings Together Research Institutes, Universities, and Industry to Support Life Sciences in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – May 29, 2014 – HudsonAlpha Vice President for Economic Development Carter Wells assumed the role of chairman of the board for the life science trade organization BioAlabama today at the organization’s annual meeting in Birmingham.

“We are fortunate to have a strong biotechnology community which already has a significant economic impact on the state,” said Carter Wells, who is responsible for steering the economic development mission at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. “HudsonAlpha is thrilled to partner with BioAlabama to continue the focus on strategic initiatives that will strengthen existing talent, drive economic development and ensure that Alabama reaches its full potential as a leader in the life sciences industry.”

HudsonAlpha President and Director Rick Myers said the symposium was an excellent opportunity for the Institute to share the exciting and innovative work going on at HudsonAlpha with like-minded individuals and groups from across the state, including Mobile, Auburn, Tuscaloosa, and Birmingham, among others.

“HudsonAlpha adds to Alabama’s presence in the life sciences while continuing to grow our presence and contribute scientifically at the national and international levels,” Myers said.

The annual meeting included a science symposium during which Myers and HudsonAlpha faculty investigator Greg Cooper, Ph.D., updated members of Alabama biotech industry and academia on HudsonAlpha’s use of genomic and genetic research to understand human health and disease. Cooper specifically discussed the Institute’s pediatric genomic research and the goal of identifying root genetic causes in children with unexplained childhood disorders.

“We are well on our way to use novel genomic technologies to provide diagnoses to hundreds of children with unexplained genetic conditions in North Alabama,” Cooper said. “We are also learning many new things about how our genes shape our lives and contributing to general knowledge that may ultimately lead to better diagnosis, treatment and prevention of many diseases.”

The science symposium focused on drug discovery, diagnostics, medical devices and genomics. Randall Moreadith, M.D. and CEO of HudsonAlpha associate company Serina Therapeutics, presented information on the use of a next-generation polymer for drug delivery and the use of the polymer in a therapeutic treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

The theme for the 2014 BioAlabama Annual Meeting was “Bridging the Gap between Corporation and Academics in the Biotechnology Industry.”

“This meeting provides a great forum for us to highlight the cutting-edge research, development and commercialization coming out of our leading institutions and life science companies,” said Kathy Nugent, Ph.D., President of BioAlabama. “We are proud to report that the Alabama life sciences industry continues to grow and be recognized globally for exciting contributions to human and environmental health.”

Media Contact: Beth Pugh
bpugh@hudsonalpha.org
256-327-0443

About BioAlabama: BioAlabama is a statewide nonprofit organization representing Alabama’s bio related industries, research scientists, clinicians and business professionals who are working together to foster, develop and support the life sciences in Alabama. BioAlabama is the state affiliate in Alabama of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the preeminent national association of biotechnology companies.

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 problems. Its mission is three-fold: sparking scientific discoveries that can impact human health and well-being; fostering biotech entrepreneurship; 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 scientific researchers with entrepreneurs and educators. The relationships formed on the HudsonAlpha campus allow serendipity to yield results in medicine and agriculture. Since opening in 2008, HudsonAlpha, under the leadership of Dr. Richard M. Myers, a key collaborator on the Human Genome Project, has built a name for itself in genetics and genomics research and biotech education, and boasts 26 biotech companies on campus.