Penny and Jay Billings support the purchase of a powerful new DNA sequencer
03 May 2023

Supporting Life-Changing Sequencing: Penny and Jay Billings

Penny and Jay Billings support the purchase of a powerful new DNA sequencer with a gift to the Innovation Fund

A passion for scientific discovery is what inspired Penny and Jay Billings to get involved with HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. Devoted supporters of many nonprofit organizations across Huntsville, the couple recently decided to make a generous gift in support of HudsonAlpha’s new Innovation Fund.

The Innovation Fund was designed to drive the Institute’s most transformative programs and impactful breakthroughs. Resources given to the Innovation Fund are put to immediate use to support HudsonAlpha’s talent, improve and advance technology, seed promising new ideas, scale groundbreaking programs, and train the next generation of STEM leaders.

Recent donations made to the Innovation Fund enabled HudsonAlpha to purchase a new PacBio Revio, an extremely powerful DNA sequencer that will allow HudsonAlpha researchers to create vast amounts of genomic data faster than ever before. HudsonAlpha is one of the first in the world to receive this state-of-the-art machine.

HudsonAlpha scientists are experts at unraveling the complexities of DNA through sequencing and analysis. With the Revio, HudsonAlpha’s sequencing capabilities are fifteen times greater, meaning discoveries such as understanding childhood genetic disorders and making plants more resistant to drought and disease can be made even faster and more affordably than before. 

HudsonAlpha’s reputation as an expert in DNA sequencing, coupled with the capabilities of the Revio, drove demand so high that the number of projects scheduled for the Revio have exceeded the machine’s capacity. A second Revio is needed to allow HudsonAlpha scientists to continue making life-changing discoveries.

“It’s exciting to think about the amazing discoveries a second Revio will allow HudsonAlpha’s scientists to make,” said Penny. “We’re so inspired by HudsonAlpha’s ability to address some of the world’s toughest challenges through the study of DNA. We hope the Innovation Fund gives HudsonAlpha the resources to keep working towards a brighter future.”

If you are interested in joining Penny and Jay Billings in supporting the Innovation Fund, you can learn more about the fund and make a gift at