iXpressGenes hosts national conference in Huntsville

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - "Huntsville has always been a hidden gem,"said Joe Ng, President of iXpressGenes.

"The science in Huntsville is world class," said HudsonAlpha Senior Scientist Jeremy Prokop.

"This is geek central, there's more PhD engineers here than there is anywhere else in the rest of the country," said Hudson Alpha Faculty Investigator Elizabeth Worthey.

These are all things proud Huntsvillians already know, but by hosting a conference that brings together the brightest scientific minds in the country, scientists at HudsonAlpha and iXpressGenes hope the rest of the nation will see this too.

"There's nowhere else in the world that can bring together the types of approaches that are being brought together here in Huntsville," said Prokop.

The focus of the three-day conference is membrane proteins.

"Membrane proteins are by far the toughest area in biology to understand," said Prokop.

So, we won't get too scientific, just know having this kind of conference in the Rocket City is a big deal.  Dozens of students are expected to attend and Worthey hopes the students will see the possibilities with a career in membrane proteins are limitless.

"Academia, biotech, pharma, but also insurance companies are interested," said Worthey.

We do mean limitless -- as in out of this world. Membrane proteins are involved in outer space missions. Conference-goers get to see a virtual tour of the International Space Station.

"The 3Dvirtual I.S.S. shows where Scott Kelly was and some of the things he was doing that are biology related," said Ng.