A nonprofit institute where scientists, educators, and entrepreneurs translate the power of genomics into real world results to create a healthier more sustainable world.

seperator

Our Faculty

Richard M. Myers, Ph.D.
Faculty Investigator

Rick-Myers

Visit Website

Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of California Berkeley

Genomic and genetic analysis of human traits and diseases.

The Myers laboratory studies how variation in our genes contributes to traits in humans. Lab members are interested in DNA sequence variation that people are born with or acquire, as well as in variation in when, where and how much genes are expressed. The lab measures this variation by developing and applying very high-throughput DNA sequencing and other genomic methods on a genome-wide scale, and using computational, statistical and other analysis tools to extract biological meaning from the large datasets that are generated. The lab applies these approaches to a wide variety of traits, including several cancers, childhood genetic disorders, psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, and diseases of the immune system, as well as to differential responses to drugs and other environmental exposures.

Howard Jacob, PhD
Faculty Investigator

Howard-Jacob

Visit Website

PhD in Pharmacology, University of Iowa

Genomics, common human disease
Howard Jacob is committed to bringing whole genome sequencing into a clinical setting, both for rare disease and to explore the use of the genomic sequence for preventive and predictive care. The Jacob lab is focused on developing a functional screening program to identify disease-causing variants and test potential treatments. Before joining HudsonAlpha, Jacob led a team of researchers and clinicians at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) who developed and implemented the nation’s first fully integrated clinical genomics program. Prior to joining HudsonAlpha, Jacob was the founding director of the Human and Molecular Genetics Program and the Warren P. Knowles Professor of Genetics at MCW.

David Bick, MD
Faculty Investigator

David-Bick

Visit Website

MD, George Washington University School of Medicine
Human clinical genetics

David Bick is board-certified in pediatrics, clinical genetics, and clinical molecular genetics. He is a leader in the field of genomic medicine and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and reviews. Recently, Bick spearheaded the clinical implementation of whole genome sequencing at MCW-affiliated hospitals and serves on the planning committee for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conference: Development of Guidance to Ensure Analytic Quality of Next-Generation Sequencing Tests as they are implemented into Clinical Practice.

Devin Absher, Ph.D.
Faculty Investigator

Devin-Abshar

Visit Website

Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Emory University

Epigenomic analysis of cancer, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, psychiatric disorders and aging

The focus of research in the Absher lab is on the application of genomics to complex diseases and traits. This has included genome-wide association studies, and more recently epigenetic studies. The lab’s projects include multiple studies of autoimmune diseases (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis), cardiovascular disease and the dietary and metabolic risk factors for heart disease. The lab also has a keen interest in aging and the effects of aging on the epigenome, as well as projects on cancer epigenetics.

Elizabeth Worthey, PhD
Faculty Investigator

Liz-Worthey

Visit Website

PhD in Genetics/Genomics, Imperial College, London, UK

Clinical and translational use of genomic data
Elizabeth Worthey is an expert in molecular genetics as well as in comparative, structural, and functional genomics, population and evolutionary genetics, biostatistics, network and pathway analysis, quantitative genetics, and bioinformatics. Her main focus is on the application of genomics approaches for molecular diagnostics and to aid in understanding mechanisms underlying human disease. As part of this, the lab both develops and implements tools and algorithms to support clinical and translational use of genomic data in both rare and complex disease. She has provided expertise on this topic to a number of national and international organizations.

Greg Barsh, M.D., Ph.D.
Faculty Investigator

Greg-Barsh

Visit Website

M.D. and Ph.D. in pathology, University of Washington, Seattle

Genetic architecture of morphologic variation

The Barsh lab studies genetic mechanisms that underlie differences in individual appearance. Height, weight, pigmentation, and facial appearance are characteristics in which genes play a dominant role, both within and between species, and in which a deeper understanding of the mechanisms promises both new insight into both basic biology and human disease. Many differences in appearance, like skin color in humans, or camouflage coloration in zebras, are the products of natural selection, so identifying and studying the genes responsible for those differences is an opportunity to learn more about mammalian evolution. Finally, periodic color patterns–stripes on zebras, or spots on cheetahs–are an unsolved mystery whose investigation promises to reveal new biological pathways and principles.

Greg Cooper, Ph.D.
Faculty Investigator

Greg-Cooper

Visit Website

Ph.D. in Genetics, Stanford University

Human Genetics and Genomics

Greg Cooper is a computational biologist interested in identifying and characterizing the ways in which variation in DNA shapes people’s lives; he has a particular interest in genomic diagnoses for children with intellectual disability and developmental delay. He received a B.A. in Microbiology, a B.S. in Mathematics and Statistics from Miami University, and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Stanford University in 2006. He then conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Washington before moving to HudsonAlpha as a Faculty Investigator in September 2010. Throughout his career, he has focused on understanding the structures, functions, and evolutionary histories of individual human genomes, and finding ways to translate that understanding into useful predictions about human health and disease.

Jane Grimwood, Ph.D.
Faculty Investigator

Jane-Grimwood

Visit Website

Ph.D. in Microbiology, University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Genomic resource development for plants

The HudsonAlpha Genome Sequencing Center produces DNA sequences and other genomic resources for plants that can then be utilized by the wider scientific community to enable downstream scientific discoveries. As a partner with the Joint Genome Institute, the center’s current research is directed at advances that benefit the research areas of bioenergy and global carbon cycling. Sequence data produced at HudsonAlpha, in collaboration with multiple plant research communities and plant breeders, will be applied to the problems of reducing the U.S. dependency on imported oil by improving biomass, improving plant drought tolerance, modifying cell wall composition to improve access to sugars and by decreasing the length of time to domesticate a plant for modern agricultural processes. The center runs a highly automated sequencing laboratory, with three sequencing platforms and numerous other robotic instruments and specializes in plant whole genome assembly and genome improvement or finishing, utilizing new, lower cost sequencing technologies.

Jeremy Schmutz
Faculty Investigator

Jeremy-Schmutz

Visit Website

B.S. in computer science, B.S. in biology, North Central College

Whole genome sequencing and assembly, population genomics

The HudsonAlpha Genome Sequencing Center produces DNA sequences and other genomic resources for plants that can then be utilized by the wider scientific community to enable downstream scientific discoveries. As a partner with the Joint Genome Institute, the center’s current research is directed at advances that benefit the research areas of bioenergy and global carbon cycling. Sequence data produced at HudsonAlpha, in collaboration with multiple plant research communities and plant breeders, will be applied to the problems of reducing the U.S. dependency on imported oil by improving biomass, improving plant drought tolerance, modifying cell wall composition to improve access to sugars and by decreasing the length of time to domesticate a plant for modern agricultural processes. The center runs a highly automated sequencing laboratory, with three sequencing platforms and numerous other robotic instruments and specializes in plant whole genome assembly and genome improvement or finishing, utilizing new, lower cost sequencing technologies.

Jian Han, M.D., Ph.D.
Faculty Investigator

Jian-Han

Visit Website

M.D., SuZhou Medical College, China; Ph.D. University of Alabama at Birmingham

Technology development to advance medical science

The Han lab has developed two multiplex PCR technologies, temPCR and armPCR, that allows many gene targets to be co-amplified in one reaction. It has also developed software tools (iC-architect) and a hardware platform (iCubate) that allow others to develop their own Apps. One of the most exciting uses of these tools is to amplify immune repertoire (rearranged VDJ genes from T and B cells) for next generation sequencing. To facilitate these technologies’ adoption, the lab has spun out two companies, iCubate and iRepertoire. iCubate manufactures the hardware platform and developing applications mainly for infectious diseases diagnosis. iRepertoire is helping scientists learn, from the human immune system, how to diagnose and treat diseases. An international collaboration project, the R10K project was launched by HudsonAlpha with iRepertoire to study 10,000 samples comprising 100 diseases for biomarker discoveries.

Jozef Lazar, MD, PhD
Faculty Investigator

Josef-Lazar

Visit Website

MD, Comenius University, Martin, Czechoslovakia

PhD in Physiology, Comenius University, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia

Genomics, Common Human Diseases
The ultimate goal for personalized genomic medicine is tailoring treatment. Because we expect the majority of patients to have a unique sequence variant, tailoring treatment for patients with rare disease will require validation nominated sequence variants using different molecular biology approaches. In the validation process, the Lazar lab will utilize primary patients or commercially available human cell lines for different cellular assays or vertebrate model system using gene editing to generate and functionally test the variant of interest. The goal of Lazar’s work is to develop a functional screening program to rapidly test variants or genes identified in individual clinical cases and testing potential treatment modalities

Kimberly Strong, PhD
Faculty Investigator

Kim-Strong

Visit Website

PhD in Bioethics, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW Australia

Genomics and Ethics
Kimberly Strong’s expertise is in the application and limits of empirical bioethics, particularly in its value in informing the discourse surrounding contentious and emerging technologies. She earned her PhD with a bioethics focus from the University of Sydney, Australia; genetic counseling qualifications from the University of Newcastle, Australia; and her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, from the University of Minnesota in Duluth, Minnesota. Her current area of research focuses on the ethical, legal and social implications of genetic technologies and the ways in which they impact various stakeholders such as patients, family members, health professionals, researchers, policy makers and society at large.

Neil Lamb, Ph.D.
Faculty Investigator

Neil-Lamb

Visit Website

Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology, Emory University

Educational outreach relating to genetics, genomics and biotechnology

The Educational Outreach team at HudsonAlpha prepares the future biotechnology workforce and cultivates genetic literacy for all citizens. The team strives to create engaging experiences that minimize barriers to access for students, educators and the public. Its educational pathway deliberately reaches across the human lifespan. Hands-on experiences for young children open the door to early engagement, while middle and high school activities link classroom content to real-world situations of health and disease. Summer camps and internship programs introduce students to more advanced content and career profiles. HudsonAlpha scientists lead college courses through university collaborations. Online educational resources and learning apps for mobile devices allow efforts to reach distant audiences. Lastly, the adult community connects to biotechnology with an ongoing series of presentations, tours and workshops, embracing the value of life-long learning.

Sara Cooper, Ph.D.
Faculty Investigator

Sara-Cooper

Visit Website

Ph.D. in Genetics, Stanford University

Metabolomics

The Sara Cooper lab is focused on developing technologies in metabolomics and genomics and applying them to human problems. The lab has previously developed metabolomic methods using yeast and now is applying these methods to explore human disease. We have completed assays of human biofluids, human tissue and tissue culture cells to characterize neurological disease, cancer, and to understand fundamental questions in cellular metabolism. Our primary focus is integrating genomic and metabolomic methods to understanding the role for cellular metabolism in pancreatic cancer. We also have projects investigating whether bacterial genomes contain a key for the breakdown of pollutants and using genomics to explore the potential for a new drug in treating ovarian cancer. While the lab is interested in a diverse set of biological problems, it aims to use common tools, metabolomics and genomics, to solve the problems.

Shawn Levy, Ph.D.
Faculty Investigator

Shawn-Levy

Visit Website

Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Emory University

Technology development and automation, informatics, genomic variation

Upon his arrival at HudsonAlpha in 2009, Shawn Levy set up the HudsonAlpha Genomic Services Laboratory which supports projects using genomic technologies from laboratories around the world. Since its inception, the CLIA-certified Genomics Services Laboratory has supported 2,500 projects and more than 100,000 samples. Prior to joining HudsonAlpha, Levy was founding director of the Vanderbilt Microarray Shared Resource and was responsible for growing it from a small microarray core facility to a world-renowned genomics center. Before that, Levy set up a microarray facility at the Emory Center for Molecular Medicine, where he received his graduate and postdoctoral training. Levy has a great interest in technology development and optimization, which led to the invention of an easy and efficient method for multiplexing more than 700,000 samples per sequencing lane on the Illumina sequencing platform.

Our Genomic Research

Since opening its doors in 2008, HudsonAlpha has further secured its role as a global leader in biotechnology and genomic research. We’ve made discoveries in ALS, childhood genetic disorders and kidney cancer; expanded research in bipolar and schizophrenia and continued critical research in other devastating conditions, including cancer, Parkinson’s, lupus, multiple sclerosis and more.

our-genomics-graphic
Be sure to join us on the HudsonAlpha campus tomorrow for the @ALSAlabama Walk to Defeat ALS at 10am! t.co/tMWQ0xOj73