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Center for Genomic Medicine Newsletter

July 2016

Welcome to UAB-HudsonAlpha's Center for Genomic Medicine (CGM) quarterly eNewsletter dedicated to keeping you informed about new developments in the Center, including new personnel, new genomic approaches, upcoming events, and ways how you can benefit from the Center. Thank you for your continued interest!

Ushering Genomics into Clinical Care - New T32 Grant Awarded to CGM Funds Innovative Genomic Medicine Postdoctoral Training Program
The UAB-HudsonAlpha Center for Genomic Medicine is accepting applications for the newly developed UAB-HudsonAlpha Genomic Medicine Training program, funded as part of a T32 program grant awarded by the National Human Genome Research Institute. The grant is the first of its kind in the nation, providing funds for the development of an innovative two-year genomic medicine training program open to postdoctoral applicants holding a PhD or MD degree.  The purpose of the training grant, one of only two awarded nationally, is to provide mentorship and clinical research training in genomic medicine to trainees recruited from various disciplines. “The program emphasizes research focused on developing new genomic approaches and validating them, helping to further facilitate genomics into clinical practice,” says Program Director Bruce Korf, MD, PhD, who also serves as professor and chair of the UAB Department of Genetics and co-director of the UAB-HudsonAlpha Center for Genomic Medicine.  Co-directed by HudsonAlpha and UAB, the program allows trainees to choose at which of the two locations they prefer to be stationed for training.  Also, because the program combines the resources of a medical center with a genomic research institute, participants will benefit from the clinical resources and advanced genomic technologies available at UAB and HudsonAlpha. “The synergy between HudsonAlpha and UAB is a unique strength of the program, enabling collaboration that helps to bring genomic medicine into patient care,” observes Program Co-Director and HudsonAlpha Investigator Greg Barsh, MD, PhD.  Trainees for the program will be selected based on their demonstrated interest and aptitude for an academic career as well as their previous academic record and recommendations. 
Applicants should submit a letter of interest, CV, and two letters of recommendation addressed to Drs. Korf and Barsh and sent to Shaila Handattu at  An Executive Committee will screen applications and select candidates to be interviewed. Selected candidates will prepare an Individual Development Plan with a primary mentor and mentoring team.

New Long-Read Sequencing Technology Established At HudsonAlpha
The Genomic Services Lab (GSL) at HudsonAlpha established a new technology - the 10X Genomics’ Chromium System. The Chromium Genome provides long range information on a genome-wide scale, including variant calling, phasing in regions normally inaccessible to short reads and structural variation analysis. Shawn Levy, PhD, Director of HudsonAlpha’s GSL, said that preliminary data produced at HudsonAlpha and other sites with the GemCode platform in combination with the Chromium chemistry shows greater than 99% of SNPs phased and haplotype block sizes over 40Mb. Read more

Learn How HudsonAlpha’s Genomic Services Lab Can Advance Your Research 
Advanced genomic analyses are increasingly critical components of biomedical research for scientists in both academic and commercial settings.  For UAB Associate Professor of Pathology Soory Varambally, Ph.D., the range of genomic research tools provided by the HudsonAlpha Genomic Services Laboratory (GSL) has played an integral role in advancing his research investigating epigenetic changes involved in cancer development.  “The GSL has become an essential part of our research because it provides clear, high-quality genomic data for our projects that require high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatic analyses,” says Dr. Varambally. “The experts at the GSL take time to determine our specific research needs, including cost, and develop a detailed, customized plan that recommends services to meet those needs. With their guidance, the process is seamless and the services are easy to access.”
The HudsonAlpha GSL features leading-edge research tools, including more than 30 DNA sequencing instruments representing all major technologies.  Also, the GSL’s investment in the Illumina HiSeq X Ten System enables large-scale whole-genome sequencing projects while reducing costs. Read more.

To learn about the range of genomic technologies and research tools available at the HudsonAlpha GSL, please visit our website at Or, email research inquiries to and clinical inquiries to  Questions regarding purchase orders or billing can be addressed to or to the business coordinator at 256.327.9426.

CGM Symposium 2016 - How Did We Do?
CGM SymposiumThe 2nd annual Center for Genomic Medicine Symposium took place on Wednesday, May 4 at the Jackson Center in Huntsville, AL. The symposium showcased the potential of cooperative partnerships between HudsonAlpha and UAB which was formalized by the creation of the CGM. The 130 attendees had the opportunity to learn about the synergistic approach to genomics the CGM offers, tour the innovative HudsonAlpha facility, and the event served as a networking platform for members of both institutions to identify areas of potential collaboration. This event continues to serve as a reminder of the capacity the center has to promote genomic discoveries and innovate new approaches for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases. We are already looking forward to the collaborations that form as a result of this event. 

A survey reviewing the symposium proved:

  • Attendees considered networking a top reason for attending. 
  • 100% of attendees considered scientific content of the talks either excellent or good. 

At the symposium, the CGM announced a New Pilot Funding RFA. The goal of the new CGM RFA is to stimulate UAB-HudsonAlpha collaborative pilot projects that will show leadership in integrating genetics and genomics into medicine. Award amount is up to $100,000 per year for two years. Awardees to be announced in Newsletter 3.


CGM Now Accepts Applications For New NIH-T32 Training Program:
Postdoctoral trainees will be supported for 12-month appointments and have the ability to receive up to two years of funding based on acceptable progress during their initial year. Postdoctoral trainees will receive a monthly stipend, tuition and fees assistance, health insurance and travel funds (at NIH-defined level). Read more
Applicants should submit a letter of interest, CV, and two letters of recommendations addressed to Drs. Korf and Barsh and sent to Shaila Handattu.

CCTS Offers Research Vouchers
Applicants may apply for up to $5,000 (direct) to offset expense(s) for clinical and translational research services. Read more

CCTS Offers Clinical Research Fellowship
Predoctoral student may apply for the CCTS Clinical Research Training (TL1) Fellowship, a mentored research experience that provides skills that will help you stand out from the crowd when competing for residency, academic research, and health leadership positions. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Read more


Join The Biomedical Summer Series From Your Computer:
Co-sponsored by UAB CCTS and Informatics Institute, the nine week series will cover key topics and available resources, June 14 - August 16. Interested individuals should email Course Director Eta S. Berner, EdD, at to register for the session(s) of their choice or the entire series. Read more

Earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) Earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) 
Advance your knowledge in genomic medicine in a clinical care setting at the inaugural 
Genomic Medicine Conference and earn up to 11 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. To view the learning objectives Click here
Conference: August 8 -10, HudsonAlpha, Huntsville, AL  

Immunogenomics 2016 Conference
- Shaping the Future of Human Health

HudsonAlpha will host the 4th annual Immunogenomics 2016 Conference. This international conference brings together leaders and researchers exploring the application of genomic technologies to understand the immune system and development of disease.
Abstract dueFriday, July 15, 2016 

Conference: September 26 - 28, 2016, HudsonAlpha, Huntsville, AL

Join In Recognizing Rare Disease Day 

Rare Disease Day Logo Save the Date for the next Rare Disease Genomics Symposium on March 3, 2017. The event is held at the Bradley Lecture Center at Children's of Alabama on the Friday following Rare Disease Day. The Rare Disease Genomic Symposium is co-sponsored by UAB Department of Genetics, the Heflin Center for Genomic Sciences, Children's of Alabama, and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

The partnership between the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and HudsonAlpha, formalized in the Center for Genomic Medicine (CGM), combines HudsonAlpha's unique concentration of genomic expertise, technologies and infrastructure with UAB's leadership in academic research and clinical medicine. Under the direction of Drs. Korf, UAB, and Myers, HudsonAlpha, the Center leverages the capabilities of both institutions to facilitate research in genomic medicine and implement new findings into clinical practice. As part of its core mission, the Center also offers a series of educational programs and resources in genomic medicine designed specifically for scientists, clinicians, and researchers. In addition, the Center provides a range of expertise and resources to clinicians and others interested in research and the integration of genomics into medical practice.  
Aida El Kholi Starling, PhDYour POC at HudsonAlpha - Aida Starling, PhD
Aida El Kholi Starling, PhD is a professional with a scientific technical background and a proven proficiency in science management and communications. As the coordinator of the UAB-HudsonAlpha Center for Genomic Medicine, Starling serves as the HudsonAlpha Point-of-Contact for UAB and manages the activities of the center, which includes the annual Symposium, the annual Request for Application, the newsletter and the website. She also supports joint applications for sponsored funding opportunities. 

Contact Aida at P: 256.327.5240 or E:

Your POC at UAB - Shaila Handattu, PhD, PMP
Shaila Handattu, PhD, PMPShaila Handattu, PhD, PMP, has a scientific background and is experienced in leading and managing complex, cross-functional milestone driven projects. As the coordinator of UAB-HudsonAlpha Center for Genomic Medicine, she is responsible for annual Request for Applications, and she works with Dr. Starling in conducting the annual Symposium and the newsletter. She also supports joint applications for sponsored funding opportunities. 

Contact Shaila at P: 205.934.9417 or E:

Your scientific consultant - Molly Schroeder, PhD
Molly Schroeder, PhD Molly Schroeder, PhD, is a board certified clinical molecular geneticist and cytogeneticist. Schroeder is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She will support collaborations between UAB and HudsonAlpha by serving as a scientific consultant for the UAB-HudsonAlpha Center for Genomic Medicine.
View full profile.

Email Aida
Email Shaila
Email Molly

About HudsonAlpha: The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology represents more than $200M of investments in genomics capability made over the past six years, thanks to the generosity of private philanthropists and the state of Alabama. HudsonAlpha is a non-profit organization with the mission to translate the promise of genomics into all practical realms: medical, agricultural, energy and environmental, educational, and commercial. The Institute houses in its facilities a unique blend of nonprofit scientists and for-profit entrepreneurs and corporate leaders who share know-how and challenges across organizational boundaries—an arrangement designed to accelerate commercialization. HudsonAlpha has a unique concentration of genomics expertise, technologies and infrastructure and collaborates and partners with medical schools, research universities and with the global biotechnology industry.

About the UAB School of Medicine: With more than 800 students and 1,200 faculty members, the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is one of the premiere academic medical centers in the United States. UAB is among the top schools in research funding from the National Institutes of Health and is routinely listed among the best in various national rankings. As the educational arm of UAB Medicine, students, residents and fellows train in a world-class setting; UAB Hospital’s 1,200 beds places it in among the largest hospitals in the country. Doctoral students in UAB’s Graduate Biomedical Sciences Program participate in interdisciplinary thematic programs that integrate more than 25 departments and 20 research centers across UAB. The UAB School of Medicine: knowledge that will change your world.

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