Education and Community Involvement Branch

Jeffre Witherly, Ph.D.

Jeff Witherly
Senior Advisor
Education and Community Involvement Branch


B.S. Ball State University, 1981
M.S. Ball State University, 1982
Ph.D. The American University, 2010

phone (301) 402-7333
fax (301) 480-3066
e-mail jlw@mail.nih.gov
Building 31, Room B1B55
31 CENTER DR, MSC 2070
BETHESDA, MD 20892-2070



Jeffre Witherly, Ph.D., is the Senior Advisor for Science Education in the Education and Community Involvement Branch (ECIB) at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).

The NHGRI was the lead federal agency charged with running, and completing (in 2003), the international Human Genome Project. During the Human Genome Project (1996-2003), he functioned as the NHGRI's lead science educator and directed the NHGRI Office of Science Education.

Dr. Witherly has created various educational tools designed to enable a better understanding of genetics by the general public. These include the Talking Glossary of Genetics (in English and in Spanish), the NHGRI Short Course for college teachers, and one of the world's largest color holograms — a 16sf hologram located at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

He has partnered with the Smithsonian Institution, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and the National Health Museum to accomplish educational outreach goals. His book, "An A-to-Z of DNA Science: What scientists mean when they talk about genes and genomes" is now in its fourth printing, and is published in three languages.

Dr. Witherly holds Masters degrees in journalism and natural resources from Ball State University. His Ph.D. is from the American University. His dissertation examined K-12 standards-based educational programming at the NIH.

Top of page

Last Updated: May 1, 2012