The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology was honored to host Beth Chiarelli last week. She was in town for her volunteer work with the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC).
Chiarelli, who lives in Washington D.C. with her husband U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Pete Chiarelli, was accompanied by Eula Battle, a local educator and spouse of Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.
The pair met with institute Director Dr. Rick Myers about complex diseases HudsonAlpha researchers are currently studying, such as cancer, psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Myers also shared his team’s interest in doing work on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a disorder afflicting many of America’s dedicated soldiers. With Redstone Arsenal a part of our community and our area’s longstanding support for the military, understanding PTSD and finding treatments and therapies are important to residents of North Alabama.
Chiarelli and Battle also had the opportunity to meet Dr. Neil Lamb, director of educational outreach. They learned how HudsonAlpha educators inspire youth to pursue careers in science through engaging, hands-on experiments. Chiarelli and Battle both received an “A” for their efforts in extracting DNA from tomatoes and peaches. Lamb also explained the opportunities for digital education through the HudsonAlpha Cell and similar technologies.
“This is an amazing place!” enthused Chiarelli. She planned on taking her peach DNA sample to her husband who may well be inspired to schedule his own tour of HudsonAlpha.