UAB and HudsonAlpha Launching Genetics Opportunity for HBCU Students

UAB and Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology are launching a summer program tailored to undergraduate students at historically black colleges and universities in Alabama.

The program’s intent is to open up the field of genomics to minority students who have been historically underrepresented in this field.

The program, called SURE-GM, is funded by a $1.2 million grant over five years from the National Human Genome Research Institute. UAB and HudsonAlpha will recruit 12 students each year from Alabama’s historically black colleges and universities to participate in the two-year summer program. The students will spend the first summer at HudsonAlpha in Huntsville engaged in training for foundational research skills and the second summer at UAB conducting mentored research.

“The promise of genomic medicine to benefit all people in Alabama, America and the world is immense,” said Bruce Korf, chief genomic officer at UAB and co-principal investigator for SURE-GM. “If all of our citizens are to realize the promise of precision medicine, we will need a workforce that reflects the diversity of our country. This program is designed to address major disparities in training in genomic medicine, which in turn will help to address disparities in access to cutting-edge medical care.”

SURE-GM will recruit rising juniors to open a window to a potential career in genomics, which is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing fields in health care, according to UAB.

Recruitment efforts are now underway and participants will be selected this winter, with the first class beginning in 2019.