HudsonAlpha and Crestwood staff at check presentation
08 Mar 2024

$25,000 Grant from ALS Association Supports Research Collaboration Between HudsonAlpha and the ALS Care Clinic at Crestwood Medical Center

Through this grant, local ALS patients treated at Crestwood can enroll in a clinical research program led by HudsonAlpha researchers to identify biomarkers specific to ALS


An ongoing research partnership between neurodegenerative disease researchers at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and Crestwood Medical Center’s ALS Care Clinic seeks to identify blood-based biomarkers that could help better diagnose ALS and monitor treatment efficacy. 

This generous grant from the ALS Association supports a research pipeline that allows Crestwood’s ALS Care Clinic, Alabama’s only ALS Association Treatment Center of Excellence, to enroll local patients in HudsonAlpha’s study. The collaboration gives patients an opportunity to be more involved in research surrounding ALS while also providing valuable samples to HudsonAlpha scientists. The grant also provides critical resources needed to support the processing, sequencing, and analysis of patient samples in HudsonAlpha’s labs.

“The goal of ALS care is to take care of patients today, but also pave the way for ALS patients in the future. We do that by partnering with HudsonAlpha so that better technology, better treatments, and better care can be offered to ALS patients today and tomorrow,” said Dr. David White, Co-Medical Director of Crestwood’s ALS Care Clinic. “We are excited about this ongoing partnership with HudsonAlpha because of the Institute’s international reputation for research excellence, their commitment to this cause, and their willingness to partner with the community to find a solution.”

HudsonAlpha scientist at bench

Preliminary data from the research program is yielding promising results. HudsonAlpha scientists have detected a biomarker found in blood that is unique to patients with ALS. They found a type of RNA associated with muscular atrophy, a key symptom of ALS progression, that is consistent with ALS studies at other internationally recognized research institutes. These findings validate HudsonAlpha’s work and contribute to a growing body of knowledge about this devastating disease.

While the preliminary results are promising, they only represent a small group of patients. HudsonAlpha’s team is doing more studies to confirm their findings, with the hope that these biomarkers can be used to improve ALS diagnostics and monitor treatment effectiveness.

“Our partnership with Crestwood’s ALS Care Clinic is fast-tracking critically needed work on ALS and allowing us to generate new and exciting data,” said Benjamin Henderson, PhD, the HudsonAlpha Senior Scientist who is leading the ALS study. “We’ve been able to speed up this project’s timeline since we’re able to collect samples locally, allowing us to spend more time on analysis to find biomarkers that could one day improve ALS care. As a Huntsville native, I am especially proud to be able to serve patients in my home community through this work.”


As a nonprofit organization, HudsonAlpha relies on philanthropic support to fuel genomics research aimed at improving diagnosis and treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other dementias.

You can support HudsonAlpha’s cutting-edge work on neurodegenerative diseases through donations to the Memory and Mobility Program. If you have questions about making a philanthropic gift, please contact Elizabeth Herrin, Senior Director of Advancement, at