News Features from the Office of the Director


NHGRI welcomes 2015 ASHG/NHGRI education and public policy fellows

Read moreThis fall, Cari Young, Sc.M., and Julie Nadel, Ph.D., will join the National Human Genome Research Institute as American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG)/National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) education and public policy fellows. Ms. Young will spend time working with NHGRI's Policy and Program Analysis Branch, while Dr. Nadel will direct her talents to the Education and Community Involvement Branch. Both credit their high school biology classes with inspiring the direction of their careers. Read more

Genomic knowledge is power in the fight against obesity

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Although many doctors are wary about discussing weight loss with their overweight patients - for fear of alienating the patients or being ignored - two recent research studies from a team led by NHGRI's Susan Persky, Ph.D., suggest that doctor-patient talks about the genomic underpinnings of obesity can pay off. Read more

LabTV reveals The Human Faces of Medical Research


Young NHGRI investigators and post-docs share their early interest in science, their journey to the lab and what excites them about their work in a new video series called The Human Faces of Medical Research. LabTV, which produced the series with NIH, hopes the videos will encourage young people to pursue careers in science.Read more

NHGRI assists new investigators with Pathway to Independence


The National Institutes of Health supports the rising careers of talented investigators through the Pathway to Independence (PI) award, also called the K99/R00 grant. In 2014, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) hosted two PI awardees and supported 18 additional investigators at institutions nationwide. Read more

NHGRI updates online resource on informed consent for genomics research


Informed consent is the basic and primary tool through which investigators communicate with each potential study participant and is vital to ensuring that the research purpose, any risks and possible benefits, or other implications of participation are understood. NHGRI's online Informed Consent Resource has helped thousands of researchers navigate the informed consent process since 2009. Now, the ICR has been updated to keep pace with advances in genomics over the past several years. Read more

Genome exhibition travels to The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California

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Following a four-month engagement at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego, the high-impact interactive exhibition, Genome: Unlocking Life's Code, is making its second stop in California. The exhibition will open at The Tech Museum of Innovation, in San Jose, on Jan. 22, 2015, where the public will be able to visit it through April 27, 2015. Read more

Carla Easter to lead NHGRI Education and Community Involvement Branch

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Carla Easter, Ph.D., a biologist and science educator, has been named chief of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Education and Community Involvement Branch (ECIB). The branch is a part of NHGRI's Division of Policy, Communication and Education (DPCE). She will lead the division's program of genomics education and outreach activities that engage a variety of communities, from pre-college students, to teachers to members of the general public. Read more


This holiday season, resolve to learn about your family health history

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Family gatherings at the holidays are the perfect time to learn more about your family's health history. A few thoughtful questions can go a long way to revealing how you can work to prevent future disease and improve your health. Read more

Robert Wildin, M.D., joins NHGRI as chief of the Genomic Healthcare Branch

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On November 10, Robert Wildin, M.D., a clinical geneticist with nearly three decades of experience in private and hospital-based medical practice, joined NHGRI as chief of the Genomic Healthcare Branch (GHB). As GHB chief, Dr. Wildin will provide leadership in promoting the integration of genomic discoveries into clinical and public health practice. Read more

This Thanksgiving, celebrate National Family Health History Day

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Since 2004, the U.S. Surgeon General has declared Thanksgiving as National Family Health History Day. Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H., the acting U.S. Surgeon General, is upholding this proud tradition by encouraging Americans to talk about their family health histories at this year's holiday gatherings, and make a record of their inherited health conditions. Read more

Ellen Rolfes appointed new NHGRI executive officer

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Following a rigorous national search, Ellen Rolfes, M.A., has been appointed the executive officer of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The executive officer of an NIH institute oversees all aspects of its administrative management. A human resources specialist by training but broadly accomplished as an administrative professional, Ms. Rolfes has worked at NHGRI for nearly two decades and at NIH for 25 years. Read more

Closing symposium features genomics, global health and the future

Read moreFans of Genome: Unlocking Life's Code, an exhibition created by the NHGRI and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, assembled at NMNH's Baird Auditorium on Sept. 30, for a celebratory symposium, Genomics and Global Health: What does the Future Hold? The symposium was the closing event for the exhibition and also hailed the exhibition's opening at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego, the first in a series of museums the exhibition is scheduled to visit. Read more

NHGRI leadership, investigators, and trainees to spotlight institute research at ASHG annual meeting

Read moreNational Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) researchers and trainees will contribute 11 platform presentations and more than 50 posters describing institute research at the 64th annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG). The highly anticipated annual meeting, held at the San Diego Convention Center, Oct. 18 - 22, will focus on human genetics and cutting-edge science across this rapidly evolving field. Read more

NHGRI welcomes new education and policy fellows

Read moreElizabeth Tuck, M.A. and Katherine Blizinsky, Ph.D., will begin their fellowships - sponsored by NHGRI and the American Society of Human Genetics - in September 2014. Ms. Tuck starts her fellowship in the new Genetics and Education Fellowship program, while Dr. Blizinsky starts hers in the Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship program. Read more

NHGRI, National Congress of American Indians, and the National Museum of the American Indian convene discussion on Native peoples and genetics

Read more The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) convened a one-day symposium on June 23, 2014, to explore perspectives surrounding Native peoples and genomics research. "A Spectrum of Perspectives: Native Peoples and Genetic Research" was organized in association with the exhibition Genome: Unlocking Life's Code, currently on view at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Read more

NHGRI's Mark Guyer retires, played leading role in the Human Genome Project

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After more than two and a half decades at NIH, Mark Guyer, Ph.D., former NHGRI Deputy Director, is retiring from federal service and looking back on a career that saw him play a critical role in the HGP and countless other genomics programs at what later became the National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR) and, ultimately, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). Read more

We Speak Your Name: Brooklyn community celebrates Henrietta Lacks

Read moreThe world owes much to Henrietta Lacks, the African-American woman whose cells were removed during a biopsy in 1951 and used for research without her knowledge or approval. Mrs. Lacks died at the age of 31, a few months after her diagnosis of cervical cancer. She would never know that more than six decades later, her cells would continue to grow and provide a foundation for advancements in biomedical research. Read more

Genomic educational resources for physicians added to G2C2 website

Read moreSince 2010, the Genetics/Genomics Competency Center (G2C2) has assembled educational materials for genetic counselors, nurses, pharmacists and physicians assistants. Now, through the efforts of the Inter-Society Coordinating Committee for Practitioner Education in Genomics (ISCC), the G2C2 resource has been expanded to include a new collection of resources for physicians. Read more

High school students get crash course on careers in genomics from NHGRI researchers

Read moreOn May 2, 2014, NHGRI researchers shared their career paths with 60 Brooklyn-area high school students at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, N.Y. Six high schools attended the day-long event Celebrating Genomics Careers for the Twenty-first Century.
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Science lovers flock to NHGRI booth at the USA Science & Engineering Festival

Read more The USA Science & Engineering Festival attracts thousands of families, school groups and science geeks to learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The third Festival, held April 26-27, 2014, attracted a crowd of 325,000 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., 2,000 of which visited the NHGRI booth. Read more

Workshop spotlights the connection between genomics and theater

Read moreIn early April, local theater professionals, including a few award-winning playwrights, met with NHGRI scientists and staff to discover the intersection between genomics and theater. The Drama of DNA: Theater and Genomics Workshop led by Karen Rothenberg, J.D., M.P.A., explored theater as a way to examine the ethical, legal and social implications of genomics. (more)

ASHG announces DNA Day essay contest winner

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Rachel Gleyzer, a tenth grade student at Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, N.J., took first place this year in the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) ninth annual DNA Day Essay Contest. Her essay explored the role genetics and the environment play in absolute pitch (AP), a person's ability to accurately and instantly identify a musical tone's pitch. Read more

Lectures on the genomics of neurology and psychiatry begin this spring

Read moreClinical applications of genomics in neurology and psychiatry will be the focus of an upcoming lecture series sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in collaboration with Suburban Hospital and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The first lecture, Genetics and Genomics of Craniosynostosis Syndromes, is set for Fri., Mar. 7, 2014, from 8-9 a.m. (more)

Apply for NHGRI-ASHG's new education fellowship for genetics professionals

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To help cultivate an educated citizenry, the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and NHGRI have teamed up to sponsor the new Genetics and Education Fellowship. Every year, one genetics professional will receive comprehensive training and experience to help prepare him or her for a career in genetics and genomics education. (more)

Genomic educational resources for pharmacists added to G2C2 website

Pharmacy symbolThe Genetics/Genomics Competency Center (G2C2), a free, online collection of materials for self-directed learning in genetics and genomics, now includes a new section on pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics. Geared specifically toward health care educators and practitioners, G2C2 was created in 2010 by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health. (more)


Take stock of health history with family members this Thanksgiving

Palm print turkeys with double helix and ACTGs Families across the nation will gather soon for Thanksgiving. Amid all the road trips, autumn colors and traditional dinner trimmings, the holiday may provide opportunities to take note of the health matters that make each of our families unique. With that goal in mind, and since 2004, the U.S. Surgeon General has declared Thanksgiving Family Health History Day. (more)

NHGRI spotlights intramural findings at NIH Research Festival

Clinical Center Hundreds of researchers descended on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center for the 27th annual NIH Research Festival, which showcased some of the life-changing research NIH scientists do every day. Held Nov. 6-8, 2013, the festival commemorated the 60th anniversaries of the NIH Clinical Center, and James Watson and Francis Crick's discovery of the DNA double helix. (more)

FDA clears next-generation sequencer for routine medical care

Sequencing technician and a monitor

For the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared a next-generation sequencer for use in clinical laboratories, advancing the use of genomic medicine in routine medical care. FDA announced the regulatory clearance on Nov. 19, 2013, authorizing the clinical use of Illumnia MiSeq DX, a sequencing machine that traces its roots by to research projects funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), but which previously has only been used for research. (more)

The National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics (NCHPEG) closes

NCHPEG logo The National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics (NCHPEG), an organization that has promoted health professional education in human genetics and genomics for two decades, will cease operations on August 31, 2013. Fortunately, the wealth of information collected on its website will be maintained by the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG). (more)

Students explore the natural world during DNA Day activities

Group photo Students visited the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) to learn directly from scientists about DNA and how it relates to the natural world. Three hundred middle and high school students spent April 19, 2013, celebrating National DNA Day at the museum. Find out what they discovered. (more)

NHGRI symposium commemorates 10th anniversary of the Human Genome Project

Francis Collins On April 25, 2013, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) held the all-day symposium, The Genomics Landscape a Decade after the Human Genome Project, at the Ruth L. Kirschstein Auditorium, NIH. NHGRI Director Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., chose the date for the symposium to coincide with the journal Nature's publication of the discovery of DNA's double helical structure 60 years ago, and the 10-year anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP). (more)

Researchers explore genomic data privacy and risk

George Church (left) and Isaac Kohane Genomic researchers routinely analyze anonymous DNA samples to learn more about disease and health. But what if someone could identify you from your DNA? Would you still be willing to volunteer for genomic research? (more)

NHGRI reports on first genomic literacy workshop

Group photo of genomic literacy workshop participants Preparing for a future using genetic and genomic information as a routine part of medical care was the focus of an NHGRI genomic literacy workshop in the fall of 2011. Now, a meeting report describing the results of that workshop is available online in Genetics in Medicine. (more)

Worm genome sequencing influenced Human Genome Project's data sharing principles

Read more Robert Waterston, M.D., Ph.D., and Sir John Sulston, Ph.D., genomic researchers who led the sequencing of the C. elegans genome back in the 1990s, recently described this ground-breaking project and their involvement in the HGP. Their February 14 presentation on the National Institutes of Health campus, was the first of three paired lectures organized by the National Human Genome Research Institute to celebrate the 10th anniversary of completing the HGP. (more)

NHGRI Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Human Genome Project Completion

Read more To mark the 10-year anniversary of the Human Genome Project's (HGP) completion and reflect on the HGP's revolutionary influence on biomedicine, the National Human Genome Research Institute, which spearheaded the HGP, plans a series of stimulating seminars, a symposium, and an interactive exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. (more)

Special issue highlights nurses' role and practical considerations in genomic healthcare

Kathleen Calzone and Jean Jenkins Ensuring that nurses play a central role in the application of genomics to clinical care is at the core of the 2013 Genomics Special Issue of the Journal of Nursing Scholarship. The publication, coordinated by National Institutes of Health researchers Jean Jenkins, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, and Kathleen Calzone, Ph.D., RN, APNG, FAAN, explores genomic variation and its clinical implications for common diseases. (more)

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Drama sets the stage for exploring medical technology's ethical dilemmas

Tragedy-comedy masks Plays like Frankenstein and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? provide insight into the ethical, legal and social implications of emerging medical technologies, according to research by NHGRI's Karen H. Rothenberg, J.D., M.P.A. and Columbia University's Lynn W. Bush, Ph.D., M.S. Their article, Manipulating Fate: Medical Innovations, Ethical Implications, Theatrical Illuminations, appears in an upcoming issue of the Houston Journal of Health Law & Policy. (more)

2012 SACNAS conference brings out the best in NHGRI alum Keolu Fox

Keolu Fox SACNAS conference organizers have recognized Keolu Fox with the 2012 SACNAS Graduate Student Oral Presentation Award in the genetics category. His talk showcased a new technology that determines ABO blood types using next-generation human genome sequence data. (more)

Gather for a family health portrait this Thanksgiving

Family Over the Thanksgiving holiday, or at other times when families gather, the Surgeon General encourages Americans to talk about and write down the health problems that seem to run in their family. Learning about your family's health history may help ensure a longer, healthier future together. (more)

NHGRI Scientific Director Dan Kastner elected to the Institute of Medicine

Daniel Kastner Daniel L. Kastner, M.D., Ph.D., scientific director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. (more)

NIH launches new genetics education resource

Students High school students, teachers and anyone else interested in genetics now have a remarkable educational resource called GeneEd. Developed by the National Library of Medicine in collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute, GeneEd explores topics such as cell biology, DNA, genes and chromosomes. (more)

NHGRI invites you to the 'Woodstock of Science' April 28-29

Festival logo Join National Human Genome Research Institute staff at the USA Science & Engineering Festival April 28-29 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. This free event, dubbed the 'Woodstock of Science,' will inform and fascinate, and inspire the next generation of innovators in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. (more)

Join us April 20 for National DNA Day!

DNA Day 2012 Are you ready to celebrate the discovery of DNA's double helix? The National Human Genome Research Institute reminds everyone that National DNA Day takes place Friday, April 20! Join us for our live, online chatroom, which brings together scientists, clinical researchers and other experts in the field, with students, teachers and the public to answer questions about genetics and genomics. (more)

NIH summer student alum wins Best Graduate Student Presentation award

Read more Keolu Fox, a 2010 alumnus of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Diversity Action program, has taken big steps towards his dream of opening a genome center in Hawaii that focuses on health disparities. (more)

NHGRI supports proposed incentives for electronic recording of family health histories

Read more Family health history is still one of the most powerful tools for promoting health. Family health history information is also critical for the appropriate interpretation of genetic and genomic test results. The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have taken a major step towards ensuring that electronic health records will be able to collect and use family history information. (more)

Rare Disease Day: Patients and Researchers: Partners for Life

Rare Disease Day logo The National Human Genome Research Institute will help raise the awareness of rare diseases by observing Rare Disease Day on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, as it participates in a daylong symposium. The event is coordinated by the National Organization for Rare Disorders and is supported in part by the NIH Office of Rare Diseases Research. This year's theme is Solidarity. (more)

Genes and plays: Bringing ethical issues to life

Tragedy-comedy masks with D N A double helix ribbons Challenging ethical issues pervade genomic research. These complex issues are ripe for innovative approaches to enhance greater understanding and respect for different points of view. Karen Rothenberg, J.D., and Lynn Bush, Ph.D., have created two short plays to help convey the complexity of ethical issues raised by genomic research. The second play - and a commentary - are now available from Genetics in Medicine. (more)

Health disparities research program life-changing for postdoctoral fellows

Bashira Charles and Keisha Findley Keisha Findley, Ph.D., and Bashira Charles, Ph.D., recent fellows in NHGRI's Intramural Health Disparities Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, used genetic and genomic approaches in the area of health disparities research. Hear about their experiences conducting research, which supported their own, profound scientific growth. (more)

Dr. Stanley Lipkowitz to talk on genomics of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment

Dr. Stanley Lipkowitz On Friday, Feb. 3, 2012, Stanley Lipkowitz, M.D., Ph.D., of the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, will present, An Introduction to Genomics: Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment. The lecture is part of the Genomics in Medicine Lecture Series, sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute, Suburban Hospital and Johns Hopkins Medical School. (more)

Nurses, administrators sought for research project on genomic competency

Nurse The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has found a number of ways to encourage health care professionals to get more training in genomics research and practice. This includes convening health care professionals, publishing in professional journals and supporting the development of resources such as the Genetics/Genomics Competency Center, an online educational resource for nurses, genetic counselors and physician assistants. (more)

Pharmacists focus on education in genomics at meeting with NHGRI

Group photo of pharmacist participants The field of pharmacogenomics - the science of determining how differences in our genes affect our response to medicines - has exploded in recent years. Genomic discoveries relevant to commonly prescribed medications, coupled with the rise in direct-to-consumer marketing of pharmacogenetic testing, has emphasized the need for pharmacist education. NHGRI recently hosted a meeting for several major U.S. pharmacy organizations to discuss the current landscape of pharmacist education in genomics. (more)

Genomics in Medicine: Researchers examine genomics for breast cancer treatment

Larry Brody, Ph.D. Addressing the genomics of breast cancer and the inherited factors that influence a person's risk for the disease, Lawrence Brody, Ph.D., chief of NHGRI's Genome Technology Branch, gave the second of the Genomics in Medicine, seven-lecture series - An introduction to genomics: breast cancer genes, risk assessment and screening - on Jan. 6, 2012. A video of the lecture is now available. (more)

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NHGRI Proposes Reorganizing

Reorganization pie chart With the arrival of a new institute director in 2010 and publication of a new strategic plan last year articulating an ambitious vision for the field of genomics, restructuring is a natural next step for the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health. (more)

Addressing the challenges of using genetic variants in medical care

Blue and white stick figure labeled genetic variants aiming a bow and arrow at clinical action database To address the problem of identifying the clear genomic signals doctors can use to make medical decisions, the National Human Genome Research Institute organized Characterizing and Displaying Genetic Variants for Clinical Action in early December 2011. Workshop videos are now available. (more)

Genomics in Medicine: Lecture series opener explores individualized medicine

David L. Valle, M.D., director of the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genomic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, explored individulized patient care from the genomic perspective as the first speaker in a seven-lecture series, Genomics in Medicine, Dec. 2, 2011, at Suburban Hospital, in Bethesda, Md. (more)

NHGRI funds researchers to evaluate standard measures in genomic studies

People, DNA helix and a kite NHGRI's Office of Population Genomics has launched a new effort called the PhenX Real-world Implementation and Sharing (PhenX RISING) program. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has awarded nearly $900,000, with an additional $100,000 from NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), to seven investigators to use and evaluate the standards. Each investigator will incorporate a variety of PhenX measures into their ongoing genome-wide association or large population study. (more)

African researchers weigh in on ethics of genomic research on African continent

Dr. Clement Adebamowo Bioethicists, scientists, policy makers and representatives from Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom met Nov. 28-29, 2011, in Abuja, Nigeria, to develop a comprehensive plan for the ethical conduct of genomic research in Africa. (more)

Create a health portrait for your family this Thanksgiving

Family History Families across the nation will celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional meal and an extra helping of time together. It's a golden opportunity to learn about, record and pass down your family health history using a customized resource for you and your healthcare provider. Identifying diseases and conditions that run in your family can help you make informed decisions about your health. (more)

Students gain real world experience through NIH summer internship program

Two students In the fall, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) receives thousands of online applications for the NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research. This competitive and rewarding opportunity allows students to work with top notch researchers who help shape their future endeavors in science and health. (more)

NHGRI launches improved online Spanish talking glossary of genetic terms

Chromosome illustration in Spanish Cómo se dice "gene" en español? The National Human Genome Research Institute releases an updated online Spanish Talking Glossary of Genetics to provide a resource to the Spanish-speaking community seeking a better understanding of genetics and genomics. New features of the glossary - originally launched in 2003 - include an alphabetically-organized navigational tool and lists of related terms. (more)

NHGRI sets sights on 61st ASHG meeting in Montreal

ASHG 61st meeting logo National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) researchers will present seven platform presentations, a plenary and an invited talk and 30 posters at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) from Oct. 11-15, 2011, in Montreal. Approximately 7,000 researchers from more than 60 countries are expected to attend this year's ASHG meeting, which is being held jointly with the International Congress of Human Genetics. (more)

Take the "Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms" mobile app with you

A hand holding a smart phone with the app on the screen Looking for an on-the-go genetics tool for your mobile device? Well, wait no longer: There's an app for that! Just in time for the back-to-school season, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is releasing the free 'Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms' mobile app. (more)

NIH Requests Public Comments on the Genetic Testing Registry (GTR)

A lab technician In a July 27 Federal Register notice, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) requested public comments on the Genetic Testing Registry (GTR), an online database to which genetic test developers, manufacturers and researchers would voluntarily submit detailed information about their genetic tests. The goal of GTR, scheduled to launch later this year, is to provide consumers and health care providers with information on the usefulness and availability of thousands of genetic tests. (more)

Rackover lauded for introducing genetic literacy to physician assistant education

Michael 'Rocky' Rockover On June 1, Michael "Rocky" Rackover, PA-C, M.S., a consultant to the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), received the 2011 PAragon Outstanding PA of the Year Award from the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) for outstanding service. Mr. Rackover, associate professor and associate director of Philadelphia University's physician assistant studies program, received the award for introducing genetic literacy to physician assistant (PA) education. (more)

Calculating the economic impact of the Human Genome Project

Report cover for Economic Impact of the Human Genome Project Public funding of scientific R&D has a significant positive impact on the wider economy, but quantifying the exact impact of research can be difficult to assess. A new report by research firm Battelle Technology Partnership Practice estimates that from 1988 to 2010, federal investment in genomic research generated an economic impact of $796 billion. Compared to Human Genome Project spending from 1990 to 2003 of $3.8 billion, this equates to a return on investment (ROI) of 141:1. (more)

New Web Portal Expands View of Genetic Association Data for Researchers

Group of people and a stethescope Researchers can now select a physical trait or phenotype and find the genomic variants associated with it, to date, by using a new web portal, called the Phenotype-Genotype Integrator (PheGenI, pronounced FEE-GEE-NEE). PheGenI permits researchers to view a tabular display of genome-wide association study results for DNA sequence variations, genes and gene expression differences for a given trait such as asthma or diabetes. (more)

NHGRI Taps Laura Lyman Rodriguez to Lead Office of Policy, Communications and Education

Laura Lyman Rodriguez, Ph.D. Laura Lyman Rodriguez, Ph.D., has been interested in the potential societal implications of the Human Genome Project since graduate school. As the newly-appointed director of the Office of Policy, Communications and Education at the National Human Genome Research Institute, Dr. Rodriguez will now oversee development of the institute's policy positions on the ethical, legal and social implications of human genome research. (more)

NHGRI and NCI Team Up for a Series of Genetic/Genomic Articles for Nursing Educators

Nurse To support genetic and genomic training in healthcare professional education programs, Jean Jenkins, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), and Kathleen Calzone, M.S.N., R.N., A.P.N.G., F.A.A.N., National Cancer Institute (NCI), have coordinated a series of articles that highlight the importance of genetics and genomics for nurse educators and nursing education worldwide. Genetics/Genomics and Nursing Education, will appear free in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship throughout 2011. (more)

Luminaries Shed Light on Genomics' Bright Future

Drs. Watson, Green and Collins At a February 11 symposium, luminaries of genomic research shared their vision for the field's future direction before a standing room only crowd at the National Institutes of Health's Natcher Conference Center. The event, hosted by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), marked the publication of NHGRI's new strategic vision for genomics in the Feb. 10 issue of the journal Nature. (more)

Rare Disease Day 2011

NHGRI observes Rare Disease Day on Monday, Feb. 28, urging those who can to attend the daylong Rare Disease Day at NIH (RDD@NIH) symposium in Lipsett Amphitheater in the NIH Clinical Center, starting at 8:30 a.m. (more)

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Four NHGRI Scientists, Grantees Recognized By President Obama

The White House Charles Venditti, M.D., Ph.D., an investigator in the Genetics and Molecular Biology Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), has been selected to receive a prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). He is one of four researchers affiliated with NHGRI, and 85 researchers from across the country, who all received similar transmissions indicating they had been selected for the highest honor awarded by the U. S. government to science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. (more)

Sharing your family health history can save your life

A family Thanksgiving is the time for family get-togethers. It's also a golden opportunity to ask your family about their health histories. The U. S. Surgeon General has a tool to help with gathering this information so you can make informed decisions about preventive health screening and improved health behaviors. (more)

NHGRI Director Green honored by Washington University at St. Louis

Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D. Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will receive the 2010 Distinguished Alumni and Faculty Award from Washington University at St. Louis on Saturday, Nov. 6 at the St. Louis Union Station Marriott. The award is given in recognition of Dr. Green's national success and achievement in the field of genomics and his significant public service at NIH. Every year, the university honors distinguished alumni in commemoration of Washington University's founding in 1853. (more)

60th ASHG Program to Showcase NHGRI Research

ASHG 60th meeting The 60th annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), the largest human genetics gathering in the world, comes to Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the nation's capital from November 2-6, 2010. National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) researchers and staff will participate in presentations, poster sessions and exhibits at this widely anticipated event. (more)

NHGRI Director Eric Green to Give Watson Lecture

Eric Green Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), will present the Jean Mitchell Watson Lecture at the University of Chicago on Oct. 29. The lecture honors the mother of James Dewey Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA in 1953 and recipient of the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. (more)

Back-to-school gene tools are just a click away

an apple with the letters A T C G carved Summer's over, so it's back to the books and biology class. That means genetics labs and research reports on the Human Genome Project. To help teachers and pupils get a jumpstart, the Education and Community Involvement Branch at NHGRI has created a collection of fun and useful online educational resources. With topics in genetics typically scheduled for fall teaching, now is a good time to get ahead of the curve. (more)

NHGRI Scientists Present Genomic Advances to Visiting Judges

ASTAR judges get a guided tour of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center by Sequencing Group Director Robert Blakesley, Ph.D., right foreground. Sixty judges from across the country travelled to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently to participate in a continuing education program about genomics, an area of science now impacting criminal and civil cases in the courts. Genomics, Medicine and Discrimination spanned topics from genes and how they work, to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, which protects Americans against health insurance and employment discrimination based on their genetic information. (more)

Genome Pioneers Share Albany Prize, "America's Nobel"

Three scientists with strong ties to the Human Genome Project and the National Human Genome Research Institute recently received the Albany Medical Center Prize, an award often referred to as "America's Nobel". (more)

Rare Disease Day 2010: Patients and Researchers, Partners for Life!

Rare Diseseas Day Logo Join the National Human Genome Research Institute in helping raise awareness of rare diseases by observing Rare Disease Day on Sunday, February 28, 2010. The event is coordinated in the United States by the National Organization for Rare Disorders and is supported in part by the NIH Office of Rare Diseases Research. This year's focus is Bridging Patients and Researchers to celebrate this vital partnership. (more)

Greider Talks Telomeres for Trent

Carol Greider Nobel laureate Carol Greider, Ph.D., presented the seventh annual Jeffrey M. Trent Lectureship in Cancer Research - Telomerase and the Consequences of Telomere Dysfunction - to a standing room only crowd on Jan. 19. Learn about the groundbreaking research that won her the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. (more)

January 13, 2010: Welcome to NHGRI's Redesigned Web Site!

Gift box with NHGRI logo on the front and red ribbon on top The National Human Genome Research Institute has launched a new, redesigned Web site. Our goal is to make it easier for you to find what you're looking for, and to help you take greater advantage of social media to interact with our institute. (more)

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October 19, 2009: NHGRI Scientists to Showcase Research at Annual American Society of Human Genetics Meeting in Hawaii

A S H G 54th Annual Meeting Honolulu HawaiiScientists and staff from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will catch a wave of genetics and genomics research in Honolulu, Hawaii at the 59th annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), Oct. 20-24, 2009. From plenary sessions to research posters, leading-edge NHGRI genomic research will be prominently showcased. (more)

October 7, 2009: Finding the Missing Heritability of Complex Diseases

In the October 8 issue of Nature, Office of Population Genomics Director Teri Manolio, M.D., Ph.D., summarizes NHGRI's February workshop The Dark Matter of Genomic Associations With Complex Diseases: Explaining the Unexplained Heritability From Genome-Wide Association Studies. She and workshop attendees examine the potential sources of missing heritability and propose research strategies. (more)

September 30, 2009: President Announces Major Recovery Act Funding for The Cancer Genome Atlas Project

President Barack Obama, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and NIH Director Francis CollinsDuring a visit to the National Institutes of Health, President Barack Obama announced $5 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for medical research across all NIH, including $175 million for The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), a joint project between the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). (more)

September 29, 2009: Community Colleges Have Their Day at the National Institutes of Health

Hands with pen, notebook and notesStudents from Baltimore and Washington area community colleges get a different taste of campus life on the last Friday of September while participating in the first Community College Day at the National Institutes of Health. (more)

August 4, 2009: Genetics Pioneer, Former NHGRI Advisor to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Janet Rowley, M.D.President Barack Obama has chosen Janet Davison Rowley, M.D., a pioneering cancer genetics researcher and longtime advisor to the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), to receive a 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom. (more)

July 20, 2009: Stimulus Funds Support Student's Summer Job, Future Dreams

Aida MohammadrezaThanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), 19-year-old Aida Mohammadreza - and thousands of other science-minded students across the nation - are hard at work in jobs that yield far more than a paycheck. (more)

June 22, 2009: Making a Mightier Knockout Mouse

A regular C57BL/6 mouse with black fur (top) sits next to a C57BL/6 knockout mouse (bottom) easily identified by its reddish-brown furA team supported with partial funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has figured out how to build a better "knockout" mouse, a key research tool for exploring the genetic factors involved in health and disease. (more)

May 18, 2009: Online GWAS Catalog Helps Guide Disease Research

Illustration with a sample graph, people and a DNA-helix Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated team of National Human Genome Research Institute scientists, researchers now have an online resource that can make hunting for published genome-wide association studies a bit less daunting. (more)

May 18, 2009: NHGRI Creates Informed Consent Web Resource for Genomic Research

Group of five people The National Human Genome Research Institute has developed an online Web resource with the goal of providing the research community with the information needed to develop complete and reliable informed consent materials for genomics-related research projects, such as genome-wide association (GWA) and genome-sequencing studies. (more)

May 5, 2009: Resources for Understanding the Novel Influenza A Outbreak

H1N1 Flu virus. Photo courtesy of CDC. Outbreaks of a novel strain of the H1N1 influenza (previously known as Swine Flu) have been detected in humans in multiple states in the United States as well as Mexico and other countries in the spring of 2009. (more)

April 8, 2009: HHS Issues New Guidance on GINA

Doctor with patient Biomedical researchers who want to learn more about the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) - and what it means for their research and the informed consent process - should check out a new guidance document from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). (more)

April 6, 2009: What Are You Doing for National DNA Day?

D N A Day April 25, 2009 As the seventh annual National DNA Day approaches, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), along with students, teachers, researchers and health professionals across the country, are gearing up to celebrate the key molecule of life. (more)

February 23, 2009: Sequencing Projects Offer Renewed Hope for Cancer Research

Cancer cell with computer chip technology Cancer is a formidable illness. The World Health Organization predicts that it may overtake heart disease as the number one killer of humans by 2010. Despite this grim forecast, there is renewed hope in the cancer research community from early results of cancer genome sequencing projects targeting brain, lung and leukemia that have provided the most comprehensive look yet of the genetic glitches responsible for these deadly diseases.(more)

February 17, 2009: Free Online Tutorials Teach Anyone How to Use Genome Databases

Free Tutorials on Model Organism Databases For researchers not trained in the relatively new field of bioinformatics - which applies information technology and computer programming to the field of molecular biology - the complex information flooding the public databases can be overwhelming. Now, a number of federal research centers and institutes have increased Web-based training to enable any molecular biologist to use the public databases to advance genomic research. National Human Genome Research Institute has funded the latest tutorials to provide essential training on the use of model organism genome databases. (more)

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December 2008: Pilot Program Coordinates Education in Genomic Medicine

Nurse The National Human Genome Research Institute and the University of Virginia recently initiated a pilot program to help physician assistants and nursing educators jointly develop common training materials on genomic medicine. The materials will be freely available on a Web site that helps both professions achieve competence in the emerging field of genomic medicine. (more)

November 2008: Do You Know Your Family's Health History?

Families Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H., has declared this Thanksgiving the fifth annual National Family History Day. Since 2004, the Surgeon General has urged all Americans to use this time of family gatherings to protect their family's future health by learning about and recording their medical history. (more)

October 2008: NHGRI Shares Wealth of Science at ASHG Meeting

58th Annual Meeting Research from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will be featured prominently at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) annual meeting, Nov. 11 to 15, 2008, in Philadelphia. From the exhibitor floor to the plenary halls, NHGRI participation points to its range of outstanding research and its leading role in genetic and genomics research. (more)

August 2008: Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., Becomes NHGRI's Acting Director

Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D. Alan Edward Guttmacher, M.D., a nationally recognized pediatrician and medical geneticist who has played major leadership roles at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) for nearly a decade, became Acting Director of NHGRI on Aug. 2, 2008. He replaces Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., who stepped down after 15 years at the helm of NHGRI to pursue other professional opportunities. (more)

July 2008: NHGRI Pays Tribute to a Giant of Medical Genetics

Victor McKusickVictor Almon McKusick, M.D., University Professor of Medical Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, one of the two distinguished Johns Hopkins geneticists for whom the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine was named, and a towering international figure in genetics research, diagnosis and treatment, died Tuesday, July 22 at home. He was 86. The relentlessly energetic clinician scholar, a pioneer in the pursuit of the links between inheritance and disease, died at home, of complications due to cancer. (more)

May 2008: Statement By Michael O. Leavitt Secretary of Health and Human Services

Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary of Department of Health and Human ServicesOn the resignation of Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, May 28, 2008. (more)

April 2008: NHGRI Director to Receive International Ethics Prize

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.In recognition of his continuing efforts to improve human health through genetic research and his support of ethical, legal and social implications analysis of genomic science, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, will be awarded the inaugural Inamori Ethics Prize this fall. (more)

March 2008: NHGRI-Supported Research Earns High Impact Ranking

Covers of Science, Nature and CellA recent independent analysis published in the January/February 2008 issue of Thomson Scientific's Science Watch, shows that the National Human Genome Research Institute holds the second highest "citation impact" in the rapidly expanding field of molecular biology and genetics research from 2002-2006. (more)

January 2008: Janis Mullaney Joins NHGRI as Executive Officer

Janis MullaneyJanis Mullaney has joined the National Human Genome Research Insitute as executive officer, a position that oversees virtually every management function of the institute. (more)

January 2008: New Directions in NHGRI Office of the Director

Laura L. Rodrigues, Ph.D. (left) and Kathy L. Kopnisky, Ph.D. To advance its efforts to build upon the foundation laid by the sequencing of the human genome in a swift and efficient manner, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has made several key staff changes in the Office of the Director. (more)

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December 2007: Bringing the Genomic Revolution to the Public

Illustration of people Genome-wide association studies have begun identifying the numerous genes involved in many common diseases. To speed the application of these state-of-the-art genomic technologies with the rigorous methods of epidemiology, the National Human Genome Research Institute recently established the Office of Population Genomics to lay a solid groundwork for translating the results into improved medical care. (more)

October 2007: American Society of Human Genetics' Meeting Showcases NHGRI Research

American Society of Human Genetics 57th Annual MeetingInvestigators from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will figure prominently at the 57th annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) taking place Oct. 23-27, 2007 in San Diego. (more)

August 2007: Building Bridges: Moving Genomics Into Clinical Care

Image of double helix and stethescope The National Human Genome Research Institute has recently created the Genomic Healthcare Branch to help bridge the gap between genomic discoveries made in the research lab and the realities faced by patients and healthcare providers in the clinic. (more)

June 2007: Researchers Can Apply Now for Access to GAIN Data

Genetic Association Information Network (GAIN)The Genetic Association Information Network (GAIN) is now accepting applications from researchers who want access to the rich trove of data that its genome-wide association studies of common diseases will begin generating within the next few months. (more)

April 2007: Mary Affeldt Joins NHGRI as Executive Officer

NHGRI Executive Officer Mary Affeldt The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) selects Mary Affeldt, a senior manager at the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), to be its Executive Officer. She replaces Frederick Walker, who retired in January. (more)

April 2007: Moving Genomic Medicine into the Doctor's Office

Dr. Greg Feero W. Gregory Feero, M.D., Ph.D., joins the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) as the Senior Advisor to the Director for Genomic Medicine. In this position, he plays a key role in guiding the institute as it works to convert the discoveries of genomic research into advances in clinical medicine. (more)

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Last Updated: September 17, 2015