HudsonAlpha continues to help make North Alabama a research hub

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A groundbreaking company hosted a groundbreaking of its own on Tuesday for its new Propst Precision Medicine Center. HudsonAlpha continues to help put North Alabama on the map, especially in the field of life sciences.

And the company keeps growing with a new 100,000 square foot facility that will help lead to more cutting-edge and life-saving research.

The facility will house education and genomic medicine programs, as well as research and discovery. HudsonAlpha officials said they want to continue to build a life sciences hub here in North Alabama, but mainly they want to help people.

HudsonAlpha co-founder Jim Hudson said space is one of the big limiting factors for them. That's why this new facility is so important.

"The building actually is multi-functional, so it's going to have a number of impacts," Hudson said. "Our educational group is going to be expanding more across the state."

He said this is more of an application building. They hope what goes on there will help save lives.

"The number one thing is we're going to prescribe drugs based on your genome. We're going to be able to sequence you and say, 'that drug's not going to work'," Hudson said.

Governor Bentley spoke at the groundbreaking saying that the work HudsonAlpha is doing will have a big impact.

"In the long run I think what is happening here at HudsonAlpha will help us reduce the cost of healthcare in this country," he said.

He also said North Alabama contributes to a large part of the state's economy, much of that coming from HudsonAlpha and the work they do.

"I think every dollar we put in to this facility reaps a tremendous return. In fact the economic benefit I was told this morning is going to be close to two billion dollars," Gov. Bentley said.

A common theme among everyone at the ceremony is that the Precision Medicine Center is bigger than just North Alabama.

"This right here is going to impact not only our community, but these things going on at HudsonAlpha will impact the world," said Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong.

He said watching HudsonAlpha's growth and job creation, just in the last few years, has been groundbreaking.

"You look at what's going on here. We're expanding even faster than we anticipated. We've now got 35 companies that are part of HudsonAlpha," Strong said.

Other associate companies will also be moving into the building. The facility is set to open up in the next 18 months.