Co-Chairman, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
Jim Hudson is co-chairman of the board of directors of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. The non-profit research institute, founded in Huntsville, Alabama, uses biotechnology to improve human health, stimulate economic development and inspire Alabama’s youth to seek careers in science. He also serves as vice president of CityScapes LLC, a company focused on downtown revitalization projects, particularly those appealing strongly to young professionals.
Hudson is a passionate advocate for local arts and entertainment. In 2001 he purchased Lowe Mill at the corner of Seminole Drive and 9th Avenue -- originally a textile mill-- and gave new life to what was Huntsville’s first suburb. Lowe Mill supports a diverse community of artisans and businesses dedicated to the free expression of the arts. The venue features several entertainment and exhibition events each month, as well as nearly 100 individual studios where the public is encouraged to interact with the artists.
In 1987, Hudson founded Research Genetics in Huntsville. He served as chief executive until 2000 when the company merged with Invitrogen (IVGN) in a deal valued at $138 million. Prior to the merger, Research Genetics had become the world's leader in genetic linkage products and an integral partner in the Human Genome Project coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. Under Hudson, Research Genetics employed more than 250 people and realized annual sales in excess of $26 million.
Hudson has advised and incubated multiple companies in industries ranging from genetics research to Internet services. Before establishing Research Genetics, Jim Hudson, along with his father and brother Gary, co-founded Hudson Metals, a gray iron and aluminum foundry. From 1970 until the company was sold in 1982, Hudson Metals grew by 30 percent each year.
Hudson earned a master’s degree in physics from the University of Alabama and a master’s degree in biology from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He served three years in the U.S. Army, including a year as a combat pilot in Vietnam and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.