HudsonAlpha receives nearly $1 million grant for gene program

Published: May. 21, 2020 at 12:05 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology has just received a nearly $1 million grant ($969,409 to be exact) to further research in improving our state’s healthcare system.

One of the goals is to build the infrastructure for a shared portal of genetic profiles.

“The ideal scenario is one in which patients have real control of their own genetic data and that they have the ability to share that with their physicians when they move from one physician to another,” says Devin Absher, the institute’s director of genomic health.

In other words, your genetic profile would be stored on a medical portal that wouldn’t be tied specifically to one doctor or hospital, but would instead be a more universal portal that multiple physicians could access. This in turn would help different physicians better understand your medical background and be more informed of how to go about any necessary treatments.

A big concern with this project, however, is privacy.

“This entire program is designed to be a HIPAA-compliant program,” says Absher. “One of the things we need to build is the infrastructure necessary for patients to be able to have that control and to feel confident that the genetic data that is generated for them is under their control and that they can decide who has access to it and who does not.”

The institute says coronavirus has impacted the timeline of this project but plans to start things up later this summer.

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