Dr. Billy G. Hudson is the Elliott V. Newman Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, and Director of the Center for Matrix Biology. Over five decades, he has pioneered a multi-disciplinary research program focused on the chemistry, pathophysiology and evolutionary origin of basement membrane, a specialized extracellular matrix. His team discovered a novel collagen IV α345-scaffold, a critical component of the kidney glomerular basement membrane (GBM), that underlies the pathophysiology of three kidney diseases. These are: Goodpasture’s autoimmune disease, hereditary Alport syndrome, and diabetic nephropathy that affect millions of people worldwide. His further discoveries about the α345-scaffold include: a novel sulfur-nitrogen bond (-S=N-), the mechanism for bond formation involving the enzyme peroxidasin, the essentiality of the trace element bromine in the bond formation and in animal tissue genesis , a chloride-ring signaling function in scaffold assembly, and a primordial function of the scaffold in tissue genesis and evolution. Recently, his team determined the 3D structure of the α345 hexamer of the scaffold and discovered hexamer function, paving the way for development of therapies for GBM diseases.
Dr. Hudson is the recipient of several awards and prizes. These include: 2018 Distinguished Investigator Award, International Society for Matrix Biology; 2017 Carl Brändén Award, The Protein Society; 2015 Earl W. Sutherland Prize, Vanderbilt University; 2012 Senior Investigator Award, American Society of Matrix Biology; 2010 Stanley Cohen Research Award, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; 2009 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science; 2008 Distinguished Alumnus Award for Achievement, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine; 2003 Homer W. Smith Award, American Society of Nephrology; 2001 NIH Merit Award, 1991 Distinguished Alumnus Citation, Henderson State University. 1968, NIH postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard University; 1965 NIH Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Iowa; 1961 NSF Undergraduate Research Fellowship, University of Arkansas; 1959 Freshman Physics Award, Henderson State Teachers College.
Dr. Hudson earned a Ph.D. degree from the University of Iowa in 1966 in biochemistry, with an emphasis in physical organic chemistry. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the department of biological chemistry at Harvard University Medical Center. He is the author of more than 250 publications and 30 patents, and cofounder of two biotech companies (Nephrogenex and Sulfilatec). He is a Vietnam-Era veteran, serving on active duty in 1966-68 at the US Army Institute of Environmental Medicine, and retired as Colonel in the US Army.
He is co-founder, along with wife, Julie Hudson, M.D., M.A., brother Johnny and sister Ann of Aspirnaut™, a K-20 STEM Pipeline for Diversity, a model to elevate STEM achievement in students from disadvantaged backgrounds.