NACHGR Meeting Summary, February 2000

National Human Genome Research Institute

National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


National Advisory Council For Human Genome Research
Summary of Meeting

Bethesda, Md.

February 28-29, 2000

The National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research was convened for its twenty-eighth meeting at 8:30 a.m. on February 28, 2000, at the Natcher Conference Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), called the meeting to order.

The meeting was open to the public from 8:30 a.m. until 3:50 p.m. on February 28. In accordance with the provisions of Public Law 92-463, the meeting was closed to the public from 4:00 p.m. on February 28 until adjournment on February 29 for the review, discussion and evaluation of grant applications.

Council members present:

Wylie Burke
Aravinda Chakravarti
H. Robert Horvitz
Raju Kucherlapati
Jeanne Lawrence
Richard Lifton
Joseph Nadeau
Kim Nickerson
Maynard Olson
Janet Rowley
Colleen Scanlon
Robert Waterston
Alan Williamson
Barbara Wold

Ex officio members:

Joel Buxbaum

Council members absent:

Allen Buchanan
Ronald Davis
William Nelson, Ex officio member

Staff from the National Human Genome Research Institute:

Jane Ades, OD
Mici Benet, OD
Mike Bournique, OD
Lisa Brooks, DER
Erin Burgess, OD
Jean Cahill, DER
Monika Christman, DER
Francis Collins, OD
Yasmin Cypel, DER
Adam Felsenfeld, DER
Elise Feingold, DER
Bettie Graham, DER
Mary Glynn, OD
Mark Guyer, DER
Linda Hall, DER
Karen Hajos, OD
Nicole Haynes, OD
Craig Higgins, OD
Kathy Hudson, OD
Linda Jacobson, OD
Karin Jegalian, OD
Elke Jordan, OD
Charles Leasure, OD
Emily Linde, DER
Lisa Lanier, OD
Jean McEwen, DER
Monique Mansoura, OD
Ken Nakamura, DER
Khang Nguyen, DER
Diane Patterson, DER
Jane Peterson, DER
Jerry Roberts, DER
Jeff Schloss, DER
Sandra Taubenkible, OD
Elizabeth Thomson, DER
Elsa Weinstein, OD
Kris Wetterstrand, DER
Peggy Whittington, DER
Cathy Yarbrough, OD

Others present for all or a portion of the meeting:

Finley Austin, Hoffmann-La Roche
Diane Baker, University of Michigan
Robert Boyd, Knight Ridder
Cheryl Corsaro, CSR
Ruth Fischbach, NIH
William Gelbart, Harvard University
Justin Gillis, Washington Post
Rosalie Goldberg, National Society of Genetic Counselors
Kurt Hirschhorn, American College of Medical Genetics
Joseph Kim, McDermott, Will & Emery
Ruth Kirschstein, NIH
Angela Kopack, PhRMA
David Lipman, NCBI
Joseph McInerney, Foundation for Genetics Education and Counseling
Bernice Morrow, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Nancy Pearson, CSR
Liz Pennisi, Science
Marie Persinos, Washington Insight
Susan Persons, NIH
Clifton Poodry, NIGMS
Greg Schuler, NCBI
Haimi Shiferaw, The Blue Sheet
James Shreeve (Freelance Science Writer)
Paul Smaglik, Nature
Abbe Smith, TRI
David Valle, Johns Hopkins University
LeRoy Walters, Georgetown University
Ted Winstead, Celera/Genewire.com

Introduction of New Council Members

Dr. Jordan introduced four new council members: Dr. Janet Rowley, Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago who has previously served on the Board of Scientific Counselors; Dr. Kim Nickerson of the Minority Fellowship Program at the American Psychological Association who served as an ad hoc member at our last council meeting; Dr. Richard Lifton, Department of Genetics at Yale University who has been an advisor to the NHGRI sequencing program; and Dr. Ronald Davis, Department of Biochemistry at Stanford University (who was unable to attend).

Introduction of Liaisons and New Employees

Dr. Jordan welcomed liaisons to the Council from the professional societies: Ms. Rosalie Goldberg representing the National Society of Genetic Counselors; Dr. Kurt Hirschhorn representing the American College of Medical Genetics; and Dr. Bernice Morrow representing the American Society for Human Genetics replacing Dr. Ronald Worton. Dr. Jordan also indicated that council members Drs. Allen Buchanan and Ronald Davis were not in attendance.

Two new staff members were introduced to council: Dr. Monique Mansoura, Policy Analyst and Outreach Coordinator and Dr. Lisa Lanier, Public Health Educator, both in the Office of Policy and Public Affairs.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes from the September 13 and 14, 1999, NACHGR meeting were approved as submitted.

Future Meeting Dates

The following dates were proposed for future meetings: May 22-23, 2000; September 11-12, 2000; February 12-13, 2001; May 21-22, 2001; September 17-18, 2001 and February 11-12, 2002.

Director's Report

General Announcements

As of January 1, 2000, Dr. Harold Varmus departed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and now serves as the President and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York. Dr. Ruth Kirschstein has been appointed the Acting Director of NIH and will present to the council at 9:30 am.

Dr. Collins reported many exciting events that have taken place since NACHGR met last September.

The Eighth Millennium Evening at the White House was held on October 12, 1999. The two presenters were Dr. Vinton Cerf who played a key role in developing the Internet and Dr. Eric Lander, director of the Genome Center at the Whitehead Institute. The discussion lasted about two hours with questions from the President, First Lady and members of the audience on genomics and genetics. The President was fascinated that all people, regardless of race, are genetically 99.9 percent identical. More information about the evening is available on our Web site.

The President's State of the Union Address was held January 27, 2000, the first State of the Union of the Millennium. Dr. Collins was invited to the address and sat with the First Lady in the gallery party. The President talked about the completion of the first draft of the human sequence and the importance of preventing genetic discrimination by employers and insurers.

The Fifth Annual James D. Watson Lecture was held February 1, 2000, at the National Academy of Sciences. This year's lecture was done in a different format. The two featured lecturers were members of the press. Rick Weiss from The Washington Postand Joe Palca from National Public Radio discussed how they report on genomics to the general public. Congressman John Edward Porter (R-IL) was honored with the presentation of the Career Achievement Award. Congressman Porter is the Chairman of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, which funds NIH. Chairman Porter is a strong supporter of the Human Genome Project.

The President signed the Executive Order "To Prohibit Discrimination in Federal Employment Based on Genetic Information" on February 8, 2000, at the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the first Executive Order of the century. This order is a culmination of many years of hard work and has been a very high priority for NHGRI. This is a significant step in the right direction and an attempt to lead by example. Dr. Collins had the pleasure of introducing the President before he signed the order. Special thanks were given to senior White House staffers, Dr. Kathy Hudson, Ms. Barbara Fuller, and Mr. Craig Higgins for their help in coordinating this effort and event.

Dr. Collins congratulated council member Dr. Robert Horvitz on being selected to receive the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology on May 15, 2000. This prize is awarded to an investigator who has made a seminal discovery in biology, one that has revealed a new principle of relevance to birth defects.

NIH Initiatives in Genomics

The Mammalian Gene Collection is a Trans-NIH Initiative, co-chaired by Drs. Richard Klausner, NCI and Francis Collins. This project is a new effort to generate full-length cDNA resources. Drs. Bob Strausberg, NCBI and Elise Feingold, NHGRI lead this initiative on a day-to-day basis. The project is co-funded by institutes across the NIH and was a major priority in NHGRI's Five-Year Plan.

The Trans-NIH Working Group on Health Disparities is co-chaired by Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Dr. Yvonne Maddox, Acting Deputy Director, NIH with participation from all institutes across the NIH. The group's major task is to develop an NIH Strategic Plan that is designed to eliminate or reduce health disparities among various segments of the American population. This effort is highly timely.

Recent Scientific Accomplishments

Dr. Collins referred to a graph found under Tab "K" that shows the deposit of DNA sequence in public databases. Seven hundred and forty eight kilobases was reported at last council. As of Friday, February 25, 2000, 1,724 kilobases was reported. The Genome Centers will reach their target of a working draft of the human genome within the next few months. The hard work and dedication of the genome centers is highly commendable.

The five largest centers, known as the G5, meet every Friday by conference call and have had face-to-face meetings on: October 14, 1999, in Cambridge, Mass.; October 30, 1999, in Philadelphia, Penn. ; January 13, 2000, in Walnut Creek, Calif.; and plan to meet on April 13, 2000, in Houston, Tex. An International Strategy Meeting on Human Genome Sequencing was held on January 12, 2000, in Walnut Creek, Calif. and the next International meeting will occur on May 10, 2000, at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. The Advisory Committee on Mouse and Human Genome Sequencing consists of: Shirley Tilghman, Princeton University/HHMI (chair); David Valle, Johns Hopkins University; and Council members Alan Williamson, Richard Lifton and William Gelbart.

The Billion Base Pair Celebration was held November 23, 1999, at the National Academy of Sciences. All G5 centers were linked by video conference. The program included remarks by Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences; Donna Shalala, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services; Bill Richardson, Secretary of the Department of Energy; Neal Lane, Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy; Senator Tom Harkin, and news reporter Robert Krulwich.

The sequence of human Chromosome 22 was announced at a joint press conference with Nature on December 1, 1999 and published in the December 2, 1999 issue of Nature. The announcement was very well received and had positive press coverage. This is a wonderful proof of principle of the Human Genome Project's (HGP) strategy.

An SNP Meeting was held June 7-8, 1999, in Bethesda, Md. This meeting brought together principal investigators of the SNP RFA, and the SNP Consortium. Coordination, SNP quality, resources, and database issues were discussed. As of February 28, 2000, 26,391 SNPs were reported in dbSNP. The next SNP meeting is scheduled for March 7-8, 2000, and will discuss how many SNPs are needed for various kinds of analyses.

A meeting of the Advisory Committee for Mouse Genome Sequencing was held October 31, 1999, in Philadelphia, co-chaired by Drs. Francis Collins and Shirley Tilghman, Princeton University/HHMI. The meeting brought together Grantees funded under the mouse sequencing RFA to discuss strategies for mouse sequencing. Discussions were continued at the genome meeting held in Marco Island on February 5-8, 2000.

Dr. Chakravarti was concerned about plans for juggling the sequencing of the mouse genome and the human genome. Dr. Collins reported that a working draft of the human is expected in the next few months and the Centers will then turn their attention to finishing the genome by 2003. During the finishing phase, some of the sequencing capacity will be freed up to be available for mouse.

NHGRI has announced that some of the mouse sequencing capacity will be available for sequencing priority regions identified by the community. The announcement has been widely publicized and the first set of applications is due February 1, 2000.

An Annotation Meeting was held January 7, 2000, in Bethesda. Dr. David Lipman, Director, National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) will address the Council in detail on the plans for annotating the human sequence.

Congressional, Policy and Public Affairs

The FY 2001 budget is now in the Appropriations process. The NIH Appropriations overview has been held and the NHGRI Appropriations Hearing is scheduled for March 1, 2000. A table explaining the NHGRI budget can be found under Tab X.

The Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing (SACGT) has been meeting intensively since last summer. Their recommendations to the Surgeon General are due on March 15, 2000.

The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has revised its guidelines to patent examiners concerning patents on DNA sequence. The proposed new guidelines were published in the December 21, 1999, Federal Register. The comment period has been extended to March 22, 2000. The PTO proposes moving the bar higher on gene utility claims. An exchange of letters between Todd Dickinson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of the Patent and Trademark Office, Drs. Varmus and Collins can be found under Tab "P." A public dialogue on gene patenting will be held in March 2, 2000, co-chaired by Drs. Ellen Wright Clayton, Vanderbilt University and R. Rodney Howell, American College of Medical Genetics.

The National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics, co-founded by NHGRI, the American Medical Association, and the American Nurses Association, has received a three-quarter of a million dollar grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The third Meeting of the General Membership was held February 14-15, 2000, at NIH.

A Human Genetic Variation Curriculum Supplement Series was developed by NHGRI and the Office of Science Education. This curriculum supplement was distributed to every high school biology department in the United States and is a very useful addition to their teaching portfolio.

The First Annual NHGRI Consumer Day was held on November 12, 1999, at NIH and included 230 participants for across the United States. NHGRI received enthusiastic feedback and plans to have another meeting next fall.

The Genetics Resources on the Web (GROW) project was featured in an editorial in the January 2000 issue of Nature Genetics. This group was formed to keep organizations aware of each other and coordinate availability of validated genetics information on the Web. A search engine is being tested on the Web to simultaneously search across the GROW members' Web sites. An upcoming meeting of the GROW is scheduled for March 27-28, 2000. Dr. Alan Guttmacher is the major staff person working on this project.

Report from the Acting Director, NIH

Dr. Ruth Kirschstein, Acting Director, NIH addressed Council and assured them that there will be a seamless transition between the departure of Dr. Harold Varmus and the arrival of the permanent Director.

Dr. Kirschstein also reported on the NIH budget. The appropriations process is in a transition period. This is the last year the House will be led by Congressman John Porter. NIH has had two great years. The institutes will be asked to justify what NIH has done with the increases in FY 1999, what NIH is doing with the funds in FY 2000, and what NIH plans to do in FY 2001. NIH received a 5.6 percent increase in the FY 2001 President Budget Request. Scientific advances have never been greater and Congress wants concrete examples. This is an important year because it is an election year. The recent death attributed to gene therapy adds to the complication. Dr. Harold Varmus appointed an advisory committee to look into gene therapy issues. The Senate Hearing is scheduled for March 30, 2000, allowing about one hour for all of NIH. The hearings are just the start of the process with many more steps before a final budget has passed.

Legislation is under consideration to elevate the Office of Minority Health to a Center to focus on health disparity issues. Representatives Jesse Jackson Jr. and Anne Meagher Northup are very interested. Dr. Kirschstein appointed a trans-NIH working group to develop an NIH strategic plan to establish how NIH deals with health disparities. Their first meeting took place about 3 to 4 weeks ago. Dr. Kirschstein has asked Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID and Dr. Yvonne Maddox, Acting Deputy Director, NIH to serve as co-chairs. Each Institute will develop its own strategic plan and these will be melded into one NIH Plan which will be developed quickly for use in the 2002 budget.

Dr. Collins reiterated the importance of justifying to Congress how well funds are being spent.

Dr. Olson commented that biology is becoming ever more data intensive, requiring new approaches as well as support of data resources. He stated that NHGRI needs to take the lead role in pointing the way to new approaches.

Dr. Rowley was concerned about health disparity in minorities and wanted to know if there was any linkage in the minds of Congress to cuts in Medicare and what the impacts would be. Dr. Kirschstein stated that Secretary Shalala spoke to this point at an AAMC meeting and this is very much on her mind.

Dr. Williamson expressed concern about the issue of public ownership of genetic data. Dr. Kirschstein stated that people who are interested in genetic data have been talking to Congress and their staff.

Dr. Collins thanked Dr. Kirschstein for taking time to present to council.

ELSI Research Planning and Evaluation Group (ERPEG) Report

Dr. Collins introduced Dr. LeRoy Walters, Georgetown University, and Mr. Joseph McInerney, Foundation for Genetics Education and Counseling, who presented Council with the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Research Planning and Evaluation Group (ERPEG) final report.

Dr. Walters opened the presentation by giving a historical background on ELSI research and the development of the report. He provided a brief overview of ERPEG's findings on the strengths and weaknesses of the ELSI research programs. He highlighted the substantial impact that the ELSI program has had on public policy and on health, research and education practices. He also mentioned potential weaknesses in the program, including the small number of investigators from disciplines such as economics, law, anthropology and philosophy and the lack of minority principal investigators.

Mr. McInerney closed the presentation with an overview of ERPEG's recommendations. These included recommendations to enrich and diversify the portfolio of ELSI grants; to simplify the program's application, review and reporting mechanisms; to encourage genetic researchers and other government, non-profit and private research organizations to become involved in ELSI research; and to ensure that the ELSI programs at NIH and the Department of Energy (DOE) are adequately staffed and continue to work closely together. The ERPEG group also recommended that the ELSI programs have an ongoing joint advisory group.

Dr. Collins thanked Dr. Walters and Mr. McInerney and opened the floor to the council members for discussion and questions.

Council members were generally pleased with the report and had a number of comments and suggestions for the implementation of the recommendations. Dr. Chakravarti commented that the ELSI programs should explore the possibility of adding training in ELSI research issues to the current scientific ethics training that is required on all NIH training grants. Dr. Kucherlapati encouraged ELSI staff to share the report with the rest of the NIH community. Dr. Nickerson suggested that the recruitment of minority investigators into ELSI research should be a priority for the new advisory group. Several council members commented on the importance of strengthening not only the interactions between ELSI and genetics researchers, but also the interactions between ELSI researchers and those in the social sciences and humanities who are not currently involved in ELSI or genetics research. It was suggested that special efforts should be made to train and develop "bridge" ELSI researchers who could facilitate the development of more broadly multi-disciplinary ELSI research.

Annotation Initiative in GenBank

Dr. David Lipman, director, NCBI updated Council on the annotation initiative in GenBank. The tools for understanding sequence will be extremely important. NCBI is working on how to make the tools as useful as possible and is getting community input by running focus groups, getting e-mails and making phone calls.

Dr. Lipman gave a quick overview of the current status of the project. As far as a timeline, NCBI is on schedule to demonstrate some of the programs at the Cold Spring Harbor meeting. The aim is to create a global view of the genome, including finished and draft clones. The first requirement is to assemble contigs from sequence overlaps. Dr. Lipman explained the clone layout results using direct sequence overlaps and comparing them to curated contigs and to RH maps. The sequence will be annotated with features such as genes, ESTs, SNPs, etc. and will be accessible via a Web based interface.

Dr. Olson wondered how to differentiate between having complete genes versus pieces being called more than one gene. Dr. Chakravarti was interested in a comparison of the sequence map to RH maps.

Dr. Lawrence asked if NCBI is working on genes that don't encode proteins, such as functional RNAs. Dr. Lipman explained that NCBI doesn't have any great tools for annotating these features at this time.

Dr. Rowley wondered when the Web interface would be available. Dr. Lipman is targeting for April, which looks like a reasonable timeframe. Thanks to additional money from NIH, the NCBI computer infrastructure is being enhanced in anticipation of the demand. NCBI is also planning to develop a tutorial to assist users, perhaps on CD-Rom.

Dr. Rowley wanted to know what is being done to secure the data on the Web. Dr. Lipman explained that the site is a constant target for hackers and NCBI is keeping track of users, however, it is a very busy Web site and gets a lot of hits.

Dr. Gelbart wanted to know of any thoughts on how to get expertise of the community involved in improving the product. Dr. Lipman is looking at a number of ways to involve the community. There needs to be some infrastructure and tools in place for annotation before community input can be effective.

Dr. Collins thanked Dr. Lipman for presenting to council

Concept Clearance

Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science

Dr. Jeff Schloss presented a concept for a new Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science (CEGS) program. Dr. Jordan appointed Drs. Jeff Schloss, Lisa Brooks and Adam Felsenfeld to prepare a draft plan for the centers. The program scope includes the use of novel genomic approaches to study important biomedical questions, analysis of data sets generated using genomic approaches, and the development of novel technologies and data structures needed to enable advanced genomics research. The program will be the focus within NHGRI for responding to the Smarr-Botstein report on the need to support advanced biomedical computing. The centers will provide for interdisciplinary approaches and enable investigators to assemble the infrastructure often required to address genomic questions effectively. Grants will have a limited life of 8 to10 years. Planning grants will also be offered and a strong training component is encouraged.

Dr. Burke suggested that an ELSI component be encouraged within a multidisciplinary projects, where appropriate.

Dr. Kucherlapati was concerned about the proposed grant mechanism for the centers and wanted to know the reason for not picking the U01 mechanism over the stated P50 mechanism. Dr. Schloss explained that the use of U01 grants requires substantial staff involvement during the project which is not anticipated to be needed for this program. NHGRI has used the U01 for projects that needed to be very tightly coordinated. These new centers are expected to be quite diverse, so the intense need to share data and coordinate activity is much reduced. It is, however, important for staff to provide input as applicants develop their project goals.

Dr. Chakravarti explained that the centers arise from community driven questions generated by groups of investigators at an institution. He suggested defining how the Centers would operate. Dr. Rowley added that the strength of the program is that it allows investigators to submit their own ideas, and encourages new groups to form.

Dr. Olson was enthusiastic about this concept. He suggested letting the peer review system work out issues. Dr. Buxbaum added that this was a very good approach to diversifying and that community-generated ideas are very important.

Dr. Williamson agreed that multiple projects should be involved and that centers should not be limited to a single geographical location. The best centers will likely be multi-investigator and are also likely to be centers without walls. But that should not be an absolute requirement.

Dr. Horvitz suggested taking a step back to learn specifics that help frame what it is that really makes a center work. Dr. Jordan explained that the National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Centers were viewed as a model as NHGRI developed this program, and that management of the center is key. The strong commitment of very high quality Principal Investigators (PI) is essential. Dr. Williamson suggested the need to strengthen the language to include synergy. Dr. Nadeau believed that site visits would be essential for the initial reviews, to evaluate leadership and synergy.

Dr. Kucherlapati thought academic and industry collaborations should be encouraged. Dr. Rowley asked if the funding would be adequate. Dr. Schloss replied that $2 million a year was thought by most of the staff to be sufficient. Drs. Olson and Chakravarti agreed with the $2 million level and would like to see what senior scientists could do with that amount of funding. Dr. Chakravarti suggested that the program should emphasize strong academic focus incorporating multiple academic units across a campus. Dr. Lawrence asked if the intent was to draw in more people from the outside. Dr. Schloss assured the Council that this was very much the goal - that NHGRI wants to stimulate the development of new groups to study genomic approaches, rather than only funding existing groups. Dr. Horvitz suggested an interface with current genome centers and fundamental genomic efforts. Dr. Collins added that the intent is to diversify the number of grantee institutions. Dr. Waterston expressed concern that a total of 10 centers may not be enough, if that is the goal.

Dr. Collins was pleased with the broad enthusiasm. He reiterated that, while they were developing this program concept, Drs. Schloss, Felsenfeld and Brooks struggled with many of the same issues that were raised in this discussion. Council concurred on the concept as modified by the by discussion.

Technologies for Closing DNA Sequence Gaps

Dr. Jane Peterson presented the concept for a Program Announcement (PA) to solicit applications to develop strategies and technologies for obtaining DNA sequence in gaps that remain in finished genomic sequence. The intent of the PA is to try to interest more laboratories in working on this problem. Applications will be received by NHGRI as R01 and R21 grants with proposed funding of $2 million.

Dr. Olson agreed that this is a good idea, however he wondered what a strong application would look like for this program announcement and how the applicants would get access to the gaps to close them. He also wanted to know what success NHGRI expects.

Dr. Waterston liked the idea of bringing in creative energy. Council concurred with this concept for a Program Announcement.

Statement of Understanding

Dr. Jordan noted that the statement of understanding could be found under Tab V. Currently there are no changes being suggested. The key element can be found on page two, allowing staff to adjust the budgets up to 25 percent.

There was discussion about how staff decides when to take a request for a supplement to council and when to use administrative authority. Dr. Jordan responded that it depends on the complexity of the situation, staff will prepare an analysis of what was done over the last few council meetings and present at the next meeting.

Announcements and Items of Interest

Dr. Jordan noted the items of interest in the Council folders, and referred Council to the material under Tab W.

Council-Initiated Discussion

Dr. Collins opened the floor to suggestions for future discussion items.

Dr. Olson would like council to be better informed of NHGRI's sequencing activities, which are currently discussed mostly within the G5. Having more open discussions would be helpful. Dr. Olson's point was well taken. Dr. Collins noted that 2 of 5 advisors for Human Genome Sequencing are on council. Dr. Waterston agreed to present the status of the sequencing program at the May council meeting. Dr. Kucherlapati suggested within the next year or so to devote time at each council meeting to a presentation by a member of the G5. Drs. Chakravarti and Lawrence agreed that council should be part of the discussion and not just be given an update.

Dr. Chakravarti suggested having a presentation on computational biology and the BISTI report. Dr. Collins mentioned that Dr. Boguski, NCBI talked to NHGRI staff and was very informative. He could be invited at a future meeting.

Dr. Lawrence thought it would be useful to discuss the interface between commercial enterprises and NHGRI. Dr. Olson agreed and thought about getting a variety of companies together to learn about their agendas and issues. Dr. Williamson was concerned about public ownership of genetic data and suggested the PTO be invited to present to council.

Dr. Kucherlapati believes that Nanotechnology should be of interest to NHGRI in the future and suggested attending the workshop scheduled for June 25-26, 2000. Dr. Collins stated that Dr. Jeff Schloss represents NHGRI on BECON and keeps NHGRI well informed and will bring back a report to council from the workshop.

Budget Table

Dr. Jordan referred to the budget table found under Tab "X." There was a substantial increase in the FY 2000 budget over last year. The FY 2001 budget is under consideration by the Congress. Because of the delayed obligation, many grants will be funded in two installments.

Review of Applications

In closed session, the Council reviewed 50 applications, totaling $15,177,041. The applications included 12 regular research grants, five pilot projects, 23 ELSI grants, one in response to requests for application, one center grant, two conference grants, and six research career development awards. A total of 39 applications requesting $12,647,761 were recommended.

I hereby certify that, to the best of my knowledge, the foregoing minutes are accurate and complete.



Date Elke Jordan, Ph.D.
Executive Secretary
National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research


Date Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Chairman
National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research

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Last Reviewed: October 2005