Research Report 2019_20


in genomics. Trainees spend the first summer at HudsonAlpha training in genetics, genomics, bioinfor- matics, laboratory skills, and fundamental research skills. During the second summer, the students receive a mentored research experience that takes place in a research lab at either UAB or HudsonAlpha.

Another program offered for undergraduates and postgraduates is CODE (Characterizing Our DNA Ex- ceptions) . CODE seeks to engage small groups of Alabamaundergraduateorgraduatestudentsinauthentic genomic research. WorkingwithHudsonAlpha research- ers and educators in coordination with partner schools, students use computational analyses to determine the biological relevance of DNA changes from patient and agricultural samples. The CODE project focuses on computer-based toolsets that require minimal startup expenses but allow for real and significant contributions to science. A facilitator from each participating school is trained in the DNA variant analysis pipeline during a 2-day workshop, led by HudsonAlpha researchers and educators.

HudsonAlpha Genetic Counselors with trainees

The HudsonAlpha Educational Outreach team also includes a group of genetic counselors that provide ge- netic and genomic counseling for research programs at the Institute as well as clinical services at The Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine. The counseling team also develops educational experiences and re- sources for healthcare providers, trainees, and patients. HudsonAlpha offers a 2-week summer mini-rotation for one rising second year Genetic Counseling Trainees in an accredited master’s degree program. The student is given the opportunity to work alongside HudsonAlpha’s team of genetic counselors and gain valuable insight into the diverse roles genetic counselors can play in cut- ting edge genomic medicine, research and education. HudsonAlpha’s genetic counseling team works closely with UAB’s Genetic Counseling Training Program faculty and students to provide content, teaching tools and student experiences related to genomic medicine and genetic counseling. They also work in collabora- tion with The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Nursing to provide education and training in genetics and genomics for nurses. Second year nursing students visit HudsonAlpha for a day of hands-on expe- riences and learning. HudsonAlpha’s genetic counsel- ors provide lecture support and faculty training for the UAH College of Nursing to increase the genetics and genomics concepts taught throughout the curriculum. n

SURE-GM students in lab

Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in Genomic Medicine , or SURE-GM for short, is a 2-year summer program for outstanding undergraduates at- tending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the state of Alabama who want to explore the potential of a career as a scientific investigator in the fields of genetics and genomics. The program was developed in collaboration with The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to tailor an experi- ence for HBCU undergraduate students that will give them the necessary skills and experiences to succeed

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