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HudsonAlpha Foundation announces named chair

2 Dec 2020 8:59 AM | Deleted user

December 2, 2020 (Huntsville, Ala.) – The HudsonAlpha Foundation and Mrs. Linda Smith announce the creation of the Smith Family Chair in Genomics at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. The Smith Family Chair in Genomics will be held by Greg Barsh, MD, PhD, faculty investigator at HudsonAlpha.

“I am so glad to continue to support HudsonAlpha,” said Smith. “I am delighted that this chair will support Dr. Barsh’s work and new discoveries in science.”

Linda and her husband, the late Mark C. Smith, moved to Huntsville, Ala. after meeting at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Mr. Smith started two successful companies in the Huntsville community, as the founder of Universal Data Systems and co-founder of ADTRAN. A throat cancer diagnosis led to Mr. Smith’s keen interest in learning more about cancer and biotechnology. He became one of the first board members when HudsonAlpha was formed. The Smith family has supported the Institute since the beginning and continued their generosity over the years to keep HudsonAlpha at the forefront of science and discovery.

“Mark would be thrilled today to see what has happened with HudsonAlpha,” said Smith. “It is one of a kind and the sky’s the limit for HudsonAlpha’s future.”

Barsh studies the genetics of morphological variation – how DNA makes people and animals look different from one another, both within and between species. His research also helps to understand how migration, isolation, and population history affect the ability of wild animals to respond to and cope with changes in climate, habitat and environment.

“It is an honor and privilege to carry the Smith family name, who have been known for their community leadership and philanthropy in Huntsville and beyond,” said Barsh. “Linda was pivotal in bringing me to HudsonAlpha more than a decade ago. We are forever grateful for the family’s investment in HudsonAlpha throughout the years.”

“Mark and Linda really mean a lot to me and the legacy of HudsonAlpha,” said Jim Hudson, HudsonAlpha co-founder. “I am truly thankful for their friendship over the years as well as their support to make the vision for HudsonAlpha a reality.”

The HudsonAlpha Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Institute, has created the opportunity to name chairs, such as the Smith Family Chair in Genomics, as a way for donors to make an investment in the Institute to ensure its sustainability. In addition, chair positions help increase faculty retention and recruit new talent. For more information, click here.


About HudsonAlpha: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit institute dedicated to developing and applying scientific advances to health, agriculture, learning, and commercialization. Opened in 2008, HudsonAlpha’s vision is to leverage the synergy between discovery, education, medicine, and economic development in genomic sciences to improve the human condition around the globe. The HudsonAlpha biotechnology campus consists of 152 acres nestled within Cummings Research Park, the nation’s second largest research park. The state-of-the-art facilities co-locate nonprofit scientific researchers with entrepreneurs and educators. HudsonAlpha has become a national and international leader in genetics and genomics research and biotech education and fosters more than 40 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit

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