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HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit genomics and genetics research institute in Huntsville, Ala. Opened in 2008, the 152-acre campus is located in the center of Cummings Research Park, the second largest research park in the U.S. and the fourth largest in the world.

HudsonAlpha was founded by entrepreneurs Jim Hudson and Lonnie McMillian who envisioned an institute that brought research, education and entrepreneurship under one roof. To date, more than 700 individuals make up the biotech campus including scientists, educators and more than 30 life science companies.

LAB SPACE

The flagship facility at 601 Genome Way features 270,000 sf of world-class, state-of-the-art laboratory and office space. All labs are built to specifications for NIH-approved biosafety level 2, and a limited number of labs are rated for biosafety level 3. With continued expansion and new build-outs, HudsonAlpha can accommodate specific requests for optimal space and special requirements.

Lab highlights include:

  • Labs are designed to operate negative with respect to the corridor to protect occupants outside of the laboratories.
     
  • Each floor of the facility is equipped with a building pressurization control that ensures that the floor remains positive to the exterior helping the building avoid drafts that plague other laboratory buildings.
     
  • Support labs can be alternated from positive pressurization to negative to accommodate the different functions being performed, as required.
     
  • Each receptacle is on a dedicated circuit, allowing flexibility in the placement of larger equipment. About one-fourth to one-third of the outlets are 208-volt receptacles to accommodate the high concentration of freezers typically used.
     
  • Each lab is on a dedicated circuit allowing independent operation from other occupants’ loads.
     
  • HudsonAlpha has freezer farm space to accommodate up to 216 minus-80 degree units.

WHOLE GENOME SEQUENCING FOR DIAGNOSIS

In November 2015, HudsonAlpha, in collaboration with University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Children’s of Alabama, opened Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine. The clinic is located on the HudsonAlpha campus and is dedicated to the practice of genomic medicine and uses whole genome sequencing to diagnose patients with rare, undiagnosed or misdiagnosed diseases. In the clinic, extra touches in design and function make patients and their families feel valued. Even though their condition is undiagnosed and may not be common, it is important to find answers for them in a setting that is comfortable.

Features include:

• Extra-wide hallway would allow two large wheelchairs to pass abreast
• Area to discuss finances, provides privacy and confidentiality
• Wheelchair accessible scales
• Video conferencing capacity
• Wooden furniture make the space visually warmer
• Large rooms can accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, multiple family members
• Consult rooms that can videotape the counseling to share with family members or physicians who couldn’t attend or for the family to review later to make sure they understood what the counselors shared with them
• Multi-use space that can seat a large number of people and furniture that can be arranged in a variety of formats.
• A phlebotomist on site when needed so the patient won’t have to travel to the lab at the hospital—in the best interest of patient care

TURNKEY AND BUILT TO SUIT

Three buildings currently make up the HudsonAlpha campus including 701 McMillian Way. The 88,000 sf facility opened in the fall of 2013 and in 2014, became a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified location, recognizing it as best-in-class for building strategies and practices. LEED certified buildings save money and resources and have a positive impact on the health of occupants, while promoting renewable and clean energy.

ROOM TO GROW

In December of 2016, the Institute announced plans to add a fourth building at 800 Hudson Way. 800 The 100,000 sf, two-story building will be similar to the 601 Genome Way location in both its design and the mix of research laboratories and life sciences companies.

The building will also be the home of the Paul Propst Center for Precision Medicine. Huntsville philanthropist and businessman William “Bill” Self Propst Sr. made a generous donation to HudsonAlpha’s work in the area of precision medicine. The Center is named in honor and memory of his father Paul, who was a minister in North Alabama.

Fuqua & Partners Architects in Huntsville are designing the building at 800 Hudson Way. The company also designed the Jackson Center and the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine, both located on the HudsonAlpha campus. Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractors will build 800 Hudson Way. Brasfield & Gorrie is one of the nation's largest construction firms, providing general contracting, design-build and construction management services. Construction is set to be completed in 12 to 18 months.

The advantages available at HudsonAlpha, from leading-edge intellectual talent to superior physical space, provide opportunities for life science companies to grow and expand. The Institute is ideally positioned for growing start-up and early stage companies, as well as for relocating or expanding established companies from outside the Madison County region.

HudsonAlpha’s economic development arm provides competitive advantages for success, whether you are starting a new company, growing an existing company or searching for your next biotech destination.

Margetta Thomas is a Communications Specialist with the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Ala. mthomas@hudsonalpha.org; www.hudsonalpha.org

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