This is a profoundly exciting time for the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and for genomics. There are vast opportunities for genomics research to make major contributions to our understanding of human disease, including its diagnosis, treatment and even prevention. As I take the helm of NHGRI, I find the institute well-positioned to pursue its important mission by capitalizing on these opportunities.
Many of you already know me, but for those who do not, let me give you some background. I am a native of St. Louis, Missouri, who earned a Bachelor of Science in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, followed by an M.D. and Ph.D. in cell biology from Washington University in Saint Louis.
A postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of genomics pioneer Maynard V. Olson, Ph.D., starting in the late 1980s enabled me to combine my clinical interests in pathology with a growing enthusiasm for all things genomics. In 1992, I was appointed assistant professor of pathology, genetics, and internal medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine, as well as a co-investigator in the Human Genome Center at Washington University — one of the first genome centers established for the Human Genome Project.
In 1994, I moved to Bethesda, Maryland to join the then-new NHGRI Division of Intramural Research, going on to become chief of NHGRI's Genome Technology Branch in 1996 and founding director of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center in 1997. In 2002, I was named NHGRI's scientific director and director of the NHGRI Division of Intramural Research.
As NHGRI's new director, I realize that the Institute has many immediate and long-range issues to face, including filling key leadership posts, completing NHGRI's ongoing planning process, addressing funding challenges and figuring out how best to use genomics to advance biomedical research.
While I've been an intramural researcher for the past 15 years, I am now aggressively turning my attention to understanding and tackling issues affecting all parts of NHGRI and the Institute's broader community. To do so effectively, I will rely heavily on both your wise counsel and continued contributions to genomics research.
Finally, I'd like to call upon each of you — whether a researcher, clinician, student, educator, advocate or citizen — to do whatever you can to support NHGRI's mission and to help us realize the full potential of genomics. As NHGRI's director, I know that I am in for the ride of my life — and I look forward to sharing that adventure with you.
Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D.
National Human Genome Research Institute
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Last Reviewed: February 18, 2012