The Genomics Landscape

The New NHGRI Brochure

NHGRI Director Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D.
Eric Green
September 8, 2015

A Working Group of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director is in its final stages of developing a report on the soon-to-be-launched U.S. Precision Medicine Initiative. That report is slated to be released on September 17, after which various implementation steps will begin. Expect to hear more about these exciting developments in future editions of The Genomics Landscape! Also, the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research (NACHGR) will hold its fall meeting starting on Monday, September 21 at 10:00 AM. To watch my Director's Report, as well as other portions of the NACHGR meeting, visit genome.gov/GenomeTVLive.

In this month's The Genomics Landscape, I highlight the new NHGRI Brochure. See various details below, along with other information items that I hope will be of interest to you.

Specifically, September's The Genomics Landscape features stories about:

All the best,


The New NHGRI Brochure

Throughout its history, NHGRI has been committed to sharing details of its organization and scientific programs with the scientific community and the general public. The Institute has typically communicated its scientific vision through more detailed 'strategic plans' - crafted in collaboration with the research community and published in the scientific literature. These strategic plans have been largely crafted for a scientific audience. To reach a broader audience, the Institute recently developed a new 'eye-catching' NHGRI Brochure. The brochure provides various information about NHGRI as an organization - our history, our core values, our compelling research portfolio, and our various other programs - in a format targeted for a broad audience.NHGRI brochure cover

Despite being ~25 years old, NHGRI has never had an 'Institute-wide' brochure. The new publication highlights NHGRI's past, present, and future roles in the field of genomics. It opens with background information for readers - including a welcome message, genomics primer, a description of the benefits of genomics research, a history of the field, and an overview of the Institute's organization.

The brochure outlines NHGRI's core values that shape how we pursue our mission and formulate our priority research areas of Genome Structure and Function (understanding how the genome works); Genomics and Human Disease (establishing the role of genomic variants in heath and disease); Genomic Medicine (using genomic information to advance medical care and human health); and Genomics and Society (addressing the societal impact of genomic advances). The greater part of the brochure describes in general terms these four priority areas, illustrating NHGRI activities in each area through 'research spotlights' that highlight specific programs and initiatives.

The brochure also features other important areas for NHGRI: Genomics and Data Science and Training in Genomics. The brochure's final section - Future Horizons - focuses on NHGRI's "fundamental and core belief that genomics offers great promise and hope for improving the human condition."

Priority research areas for NHGRI
Genome Structure and Function, Genomic Medicine, Genomics and Human Disease, Genomics and Society

The brochure also features some of the numerous collaborative activities in which NHGRI is involved. NHGRI remains committed to working with others in moving the field of genomics forward through interactions with the Smithsonian Institution, the NIH Clinical Center, the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, the Precision Medicine Initiative, many NIH Common Fund programs, and other NIH Institutes/Centers.

It is my hope that this new brochure will help to share the excitement of genomics and NHGRI with a wide variety of groups. A PDF version of the brochure is available at genome.gov/27561939. In addition, 'just off the press' printed copies are available - please contact nhgripubs@mail.nih.gov to request a copy(s).

More from The Genomics Landscape
  • NHGRI Has Lost One of Our Own - Elizabeth Thomson
    Longtime NHGRI Extramural Program Director Dr. Elizabeth Thomson passed away in July. Elizabeth was a pillar of NHGRI's Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) Research Program for two decades. From an early career in nursing, Elizabeth moved into genetic counseling and then founded the International Society of Nurses in Genetics. During her time at NHGRI, she championed the ELSI Research Program and became a valued resource for the genomics community. She will be greatly missed.

  • NHGRI Has Lost a Good Friend and Colleague - Bill Gelbart
    NHGRI grantee, friend, and colleague Dr. William Gelbart passed away in August. Bill was Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University and was a Principal Investigator for FlyBase since 1991. He served on the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research and was a long-time member (and most recently the Chair) of the NHGRI Sequencing Advisory Panel. He was a prototypic colleague of the Institute's and a well-respected member of genomics community.
  • NHGRI Summer Workshop in Genomics: The Short Course
    In early August, NHGRI held the 2015 Short Course. This year, the course was designed for high school teachers and faculty from nursing programs. A total of 9 high school teachers from the DC metropolitan area participated in the three-day event, which was filled with talks and interactive sessions with NHGRI researchers. A key element of this year's course was the provision of time for participants to develop novel ways to integrate genetics/genomics into their high school classrooms. In addition, 15 nursing school faculty members participated in the course, which allowed them to learn about the latest in genomic science. The course presentations focused on the general relevance of genomic advances, updates on understanding the genetic/genomic bases of disease, potential strategies for improved education in genomics, and group projects. For more information, see genome.gov/10000217
  • Public Comment Sought: Revised Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects
    The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the revised Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects - or 'Common Rule' - is now open for comment. Medical advances would not be possible without the willingness of individuals to volunteer to participate in research. The current Common Rule, which protects individuals who participate in research, has been in place since 1991. It was developed at a time when research was predominantly conducted at universities, colleges, and medical institutions, with each study generally taking place at a single site. The expansion of research into new scientific disciplines (such as genomics), the increase in multisite studies, and the significant advances in technology highlight the need to modernize safeguards for participants and to reduce unnecessary administrative burdens. To review the proposed rule and participate in the comment process, see federalregister.gov/articles/2015/09/08/2015-21756/federal-policy-for-the-protection-of-human-subjects
  • Electronic Medical Records and Genomics Network Phase 3 Begins
    With the award of new grants to 9 research projects, 2 DNA sequencing and genotyping facilities, and 1 coordinating center, the 3rd phase of the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network has begun. The eMERGE Network uses large biorepositories with electronic medical records to find the best ways to tailor medical care to individual patients based on their genomic differences. For more information, see nih.gov/news/health/sep2015/nhgri-01.htm.
  • NHGRI Welcomes a New Chief of Communications
    This month, John Ohab, Ph.D., joins NHGRI as the chief of the institute's Communications and Public Liaison Branch within the Division of Policy, Communications, and Education. Prior to joining NHGRI, Dr. Ohab developed strategic communications programs for the Department of Defense and industry start-ups. Most recently, he served as head of communications and social media at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, where he led the development of a new comprehensive communications strategy, including a re-branding effort and an extensive social media plan. NHGRI is excited to have John take the reins of our important and well-respected communications program.
  • Spotlight on the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) 
    • On September 17, the Precision Medicine Initiative working group of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director will unveil its recommendations for the large cohort element of the Initiative. A public teleconference has been planned. See here for more details and to join the teleconference.
    • The archived videocast of the PMI workshop on participant engagement and health equity is now available for viewing: Day 1 and Day 2.
    • The archived videocast of the PM I workshop on mobile and personal technologies is now available for viewing: Day 1 and Day 2.
    • New videos have been added to the NIH "Faces of the Precision Medicine Initiative" video series, and can be viewed here.

NIH News of Interest

Statement on NIH Efforts to Focus Research to End the AIDS Pandemic

Genome: Unlocking Life's Code Monthly Newsletter

NHGRI's Dr. Carolyn Hutter Featured as a Sammie Award Finalist

Vote for Service to America Medals People's Choice Award

Human Heredity and Health in Africa Newsletter

Funding News

New Application Package Required for "Emerging Global Leader Award"

Request for Information: Strategies for Simplifying NIHs Grant Application Instructions

ASSIST for Institutional Training and Career Development (Ts and K12), Other Training Grants (Ds), and Various Research Applications

HHS Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Contract Solicitation

Funding & Resource Opportunities

Phase II SBIR Grants for Extended Development, Hardening, and Dissemination of Technologies in Biomedical Computing, Informatics, and Big Data Science

Emerging Global Leader Award

Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications

Small Business Technology Transfer Grant Applications

Discovery of Genetic Basis of Monogenic Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Disorders

News of Interest

September is Newborn Screening Awareness Month

Genomics Research

Human Phenotyping on a Population Scale

Research Reveals Unintended Consequences of Inappropriate Medical Food Use in Managing Patients with a Type of Metabolic Disorder

Cellular Factors that Shape the 3D Landscape of the Genome Identified

Flipping a Genetic Switch on Obesity?

Genetic Landscape Can Impact Treatment for Children with Rare, Aggressive Cancer

Genome Advance of the Month

Gene Therapy and the Biological Treatment of Hearing Loss

Upcoming Webcasts/Webinars

Seventy-Fifth Meeting: National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research - September 21, 2015

New Genomics Videos

ENCODE 2015: Research Applications and Users Meeting

LabTV: Curious About the Microbiome

LabTV: Curious About Genetics of Deafness

Past editions of The Genomics Landscape can be accessed at Director's Page Archive

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Last Updated: September 30, 2015
Posted: August 4, 2008