Myers Lab

Richard M. Myers, Ph.D. (read bio)
President, Director and Investigator
Myers Lab

Research areas:

  • Cancer research
  • Gulf War Illness and Toxicogenomics
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Nuclear Receptors in Gene Regulation
  • Collaborations

Information for the science community can be found by going to the personal webpage Myers Lab.

Basic research yields knowledge of transcription factor binding sites

New, robust methodology is side benefit

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --Whether or not a gene is expressed, that is, whether it is turned on or turned off, is in part controlled by a group of proteins called transcription factors. Scientists in the Myers lab at the HudsonAlpha Institute recently published results of a basic research project undertaken to better understand mechanisms that determine cell type-specific transcription factor binding.

HudsonAlpha and UAB researchers work to identify optimal treatments for the most common form of breast cancer

Komen funds collaborative effort using tumor genomics to identify effective treatments

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The most commonly diagnosed form of breast cancer, termed estrogen receptor positive or ER+, accounts for the largest percentage of breast cancer deaths each year.  Research by scientists at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center aims to provide physicians a more targeted approach to treating ER+ breast cancer.

HudsonAlpha awarded grant to improve diagnoses of childhood genetic disorders

NIH study seeks genetic links to answer the “Why?” of unexplained disorders

HUNTSVILLE, Ala -- Even in the absence of a ready solution, knowing why a child faces physical, emotional and intellectual challenges is helpful to physicians and families. Researchers at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology are using high throughput genomic sequencing to meet major diagnostic needs for childhood genetic disorders through a multi-year grant potentially totaling more than $7.6 million from the National Institutes of Health.

Why we have plenty of fish in the sea

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- New work from the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, with collaborators at Stanford University and five other groups, has pinpointed evolution in action.
By determining genomic sequence from many groups of stickleback fish, the scientists were able to show specific genomic changes leading to the ability of different fish populations to adapt to new environments. “We were pleased with the ability of genomics to show us what molecular changes are important in evolutionary processes,” said Richard Myers, Ph.D., president and director of HudsonAlpha. 

Collaborative project between Myers lab and Epicentre featured in Genome Research

News Outlet: 
Genome Research
Date published: 
December 1, 2011
Download PDF: 

A collaborative effort between Epicentre and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology resulted in the development of two novel transposon-based methods for RNA-Seq library preparation. The technique, called Tn-RNA-Seq, can use double-stranded cDNA created from rRNA-depleted RNA to prepare an Illumina sequencing library using only two enzymatic reactions. The researchers generated high-quality RNA-Seq libraries from as little as 10 pg of mRNA (~1 ng of total RNA) with this approach.

To read the rest of the article, click here

New research grant to study childhood genetic disorders featured in local media

News Outlet: 
The Huntsville Times,
Date published: 
July 22, 2013

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - DNA data from hundreds of North Alabama children and their parents will soon be part of a major new genetic study of childhood diseases led by Huntsville's HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and including the University of Alabama in Birmingham. The National Institutes of Health announced a $7.6 million research grant Tuesday to the non-profit institute for the study.

Rick Myers discusses Supreme Court ruling on gene patents

News Outlet: 
The Huntsville Times,
Date published: 
June 16, 2013
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Instead of freezing the market for new genetic products, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision that genes cannot be patented will "bring many more creative minds" to genomic research, the head of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology said Monday. Genes cannot be patented now, Dr. Rick Myers said, but new drugs, tests and technologies based on DNA research can be. It will be easier for innovators to generate those new products, Myers said, without having to deal with company patents on the genes needed for their work.

The Cancer Genome Atlas completes detailed ovarian cancer analysis

HudsonAlpha Institute contributes to largest cancer genome study from NIH consortium
 Watch Video

HUNTSVILLE, Ala - Integrating 500 patient samples and multiple genomic technologies, The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network has, according to a release by the National Institutes of Health, assembled the most comprehensive view of cancer genes for any cancer type to date.  The analyses of data are reported in the June 30 issue of Nature.

A User's Guide to ENcyclopedia of DNA Elements

HudsonAlpha is part of international team releasing massive dataset
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The international team of the ENCODE, or Encyclopedia Of DNA Elements project, has created an overview of its ongoing large-scale efforts to interpret the human genome sequence. 

HudsonAlpha to use Sequencing to Uncover Genes Responsible for Adverse Drug Response in Parkinson's

News Outlet: 
Date published: 
March 8, 2011
Download PDF: 

By Monica Heger

In an example of how sequencing can be used to study not onlythe genetic underpinnings of disease but also the genetics of drug response, researchers at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology have teamed up with clinicians at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, to perform transcriptome sequencing on 200 brain tissue samples, from patients and healthy individuals, as well as whole-exome sequencing on the genomes of 100 Parkinson's patients enrolled in a clinical trial for the drug levodopa.

A faster turnaround in testing

News Outlet: 
Technology Alabama
Date published: 
November 22, 2010
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Newly announced HudsonAlpha resident associate company Kailos Genetics and Dr. K-T Varley of Myers Lab are featured in a Fall 2010 Technology Alabama article.  The full story is attached as a PDF.


Gene linked with human kidney aging

News Outlet: 
PLoS Genetics
Date published: 
October 15, 2009
Download PDF: 

A gene has been associated with human kidney aging, according to researchers from Stanford University, the National Institute on Aging, the MedStar Research Institute, and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. In work published on October 16 in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics, the investigators, including HudsonAlpha Faculty Investigators Rick Myers and Devin Absher, claim that their approach can be applied to any phenotype of interest to help find other genetic associations.

Leading a large lab

News Outlet: 
Genome Technology
Date published: 
September 1, 2009

It is probably a safe bet that genomics would be a slightly different place had Richard Myers pursued his original path. Myers — now president and director of the Hudson-Alpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Ala. — began his academic career as a sociology major at the University of Alabama in the mid-1970s. But halfway through, he ended up in a chemistry class that captured his interest and caused him to drop the softer science cold. And it's a good thing, too, because Myers went on to play a major role in the Human Genome Project, among many other large-scale collaborations. From 1993 until 2008, Myers was a professor in the department of genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he also directed the Stanford Human Genome Center. In fact, Myers and his genome center contributed roughly 11 percent of the human sequence — chromosomes 5, 16, and 19.

Local ACS salutes cancer research

Myers' work highlighted

The local chapter of the American Cancer Society will once again honor cancer survivors, as well as those who have been lost to the disease during the ACS Summer Lights Celebration on August 22.

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