Levy Lab

Shawn Levy, Ph.D.Shawn Levy, Ph.D. (read bio)
Faculty Investigator


Research areas:

  • RNA-seq informatics
  • Pedigree and ancestry prediction from genomic data
  • Improved analysis pipelines for large sample sets
  • Automation of complex assays and high-efficiency service operations
  • Epigenetics in early development

Information for the science community can be found by going to the Genomic Services Lab page. 


Study reveals new targets for some cancers of the lymphatic system

HudsonAlpha part of research team
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - HudsonAlpha scientists, in collaboration with Sandeep Dave, M.D., Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, and other colleagues from leading research institutions across the nation, have found new gene targets for cancer patients with a particular type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
“By sequencing the exomes, or the 3 percent of the genome which contains genes, in 51 Burkitt lymphoma tumors and eight cell lines, we were able to show 70 other genes were mutated regularly in this tumor type,” said Shawn Levy, Ph.D., faculty investigator at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. “A number of these genes had never previously been shown to be mutated in cancer, so this work gives the scientific community more targets for diagnostics and therapeutics.”

HudsonAlpha researchers demonstrate sporadic mutations may be responsible for half of schizophrenia cases

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Although it affects less than 1 percent of the global population, schizophrenia exacts a large toll in terms of expense and human suffering.  A new study from researchers at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, with colleagues from Columbia University in New York and the University of Pretoria in South Africa, indicate non-familial genetic mutations may account for about half of schizophrenia cases.

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

News Outlet: 
The Huntsville Times, al.com
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.

Genomic variations play complex role in autism spectrum disorder

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Because autism spectrum disorders are so diverse, scientists have only found a few genetic factors that clearly contribute a risk of developing the condition. New work from HudsonAlpha, along with colleagues from Vanderbilt University, the Broad Institute and 11 other groups, has examined genome mutations in autism and concludes that the picture is still complex.
Scientists can now use genome sequencing to compare the genetic codes of parents and children, and look for new mutations in the children and not in the parents. These are called de novo mutations. In the case of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the new study compared 175 children with their parents, and found that de novo mutations only occurred slightly more than by chance.

Budget cuts hit labs and equipment manufacturers

News Outlet: 
Date published: 
November 1, 2011

A DNA sequencing machine is one of the most expensive lab purchases a biologist can make. So it is no surprise that, with research funding falling and worse times ahead, institutions are holding off buying the devices, leaving manufacturers feeling the pinch. After a round of gloomy third-quarter results, many makers of sequencing machines are now hoping that cost cutting and expansion into medical diagnostics will help them to prosper again.

To read the rest of the story in Nature, click here.

HudsonAlpha adds two new investigators

Collaborative environment unique to the institute attracts new scientists

Dr. Richard Myers, president and director of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, is pleased to announce the addition of Faculty Investigators Drs. Greg Barsh and Shawn Levy. “With Dr. Barsh and Dr. Levy, the institute is gaining a remarkable combination of expertise in genetics and genomics research, particularly relating to human diseases,” said Myers.

Both scientists were attracted by the unique infrastructure afforded by HudsonAlpha’s three-fold mission of genomics research, economic development and educational outreach.

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