News Release Archive



December 15, 2008: Researchers Discover New Genetic Risk Factors Involved in Adult and Childhood Obesity
An international consortium, in search of the genetic risk factors for obesity, has identified six new genetic variants associated with BMI, or body mass index, a measurement that compares height to weight. The results, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, were published online in the journal Nature Genetics on December 14.


October 22, 2008: Large-Scale Genetic Study Sheds New Light on Lung Cancer, Opens Door to Individualized Treatment Strategies
A multi-institution team, funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, reports results of the largest effort to date to chart the genetic changes involved in the most common form of lung cancer, lung adenocarcinoma.

October 16, 2008: Researchers Establish International Human Microbiome Consortium
Scientists from around the globe, meeting today in Heidelberg, Germany, announced the formation of the International Human Microbiome Consortium (IHMC), an effort that will enable researchers to characterize the relationship of the human microbiome in the maintenance of health and in disease.

October 10, 2008: NIH Scientists Discover Crucial Control in Long-Lasting Immunity
National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists identify a protein that plays matchmaker between two key types of white blood cells, T and B cells, enabling them to interact in a way that is crucial to establishing long-lasting immunity after an infection. Their finding may also explain why some individuals who have a genetic defect that prevents them from making this protein-called SAP-suffer from lethal infections with a common virus that otherwise is rarely fatal (Epstein-Barr virus), while others with this genetic defect have problems with B-cell lymphomas.

October 7, 2008: Human Microbiome Project Awards Funds for Technology Development, Data Analysis and Ethical Research
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced the first awards for its Human Microbiome Project, which will lay a foundation for efforts to explore how complex communities of microbes interact with the human body to influence health and disease. The funding, estimated to be up to approximately $21.2 million, will support the development of innovative technologies and computational tools, coordination of data analysis, and an examination of some of the ethical, legal and social implications of human microbiome research.

October 6, 2008: Anti-Cancer Drug Prevents, Reverses Cardiovascular Damage In Mouse Model of Premature Aging Disorder
An experimental anti-cancer drug can prevent - and even reverse - potentially fatal cardiovascular damage in a mouse model of progeria, a rare genetic disorder that causes the most dramatic form of human premature aging, National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers reported today.

October 5, 2008: Scientists Identify Gene Variant Involved in Isolated Cleft Lip
About 20 percent of isolated cleft lip, one of the world's most common birth defects, may be due to a one-letter difference in the DNA sequence of a gene involved in facial development, researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health report.


September 24, 2008: NIH's Genes, Environment & Health Initiative Adds Six Studies
The Genes, Environment and Health Initiative (GEI) of the National Institutes of Health awards grants, estimated to be up to $5.5 million over two years, for six studies aimed at finding genetic factors that influence the risks for stroke, glaucoma, high blood pressure, prostate cancer and other common disorders.

September 4, 2008: The Cancer Genome Atlas Reports First Results of Comprehensive Study of Brain Tumors
The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network, a collaborative effort funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), reports the first results of its large-scale, comprehensive study of the most common form of brain cancer, glioblastoma (GBM). In a paper published Sept. 4, 2008, in the advance online edition of the journal Nature, the TCGA team describes the discovery of new genetic mutations and other types of DNA alterations with potential implications for the diagnosis and treatment of GBM.

September 2, 2008: NIH Funds Nine Centers to Speed Application of Powerful New Research Approach
The funding of a network of nine centers across the country that will use high tech screening methods to identify small molecules for use as probes to investigate the diverse functions of cells is announced by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The network - funded at approximately $70 million annually over the four-year production phase - is designed to increase the pace of development and use of chemical (small molecule) probes, which have become invaluable tools for exploring biologic processes and for developing new therapies for disease.


August 20, 2008: NHGRI Seeks DNA Sequencing Technologies Fit for Routine Laboratory and Medical Use
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), awards more than $20 million in grants to develop innovative sequencing technologies inexpensive and efficient enough to sequence a person's DNA as a routine part of biomedical research and health care.


July 17, 2008: NHGRI Funds Next Step in Understanding Biological Roots of Common Diseases
The National Human Genome Research Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health, announces grants expected to total about $31 million over the next four years for research aimed at gaining a better understanding of how specific genetic variants act to influence the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other common diseases.


June 11, 2008: Three Sequencing Companies Join 1000 Genomes Project
Leaders of the 1000 Genomes Project announce that three firms that have pioneered development of new sequencing technologies have joined the international effort to build the most detailed map to date of human genetic variation as a tool for medical research.


May 28, 2008: Francis S. Collins to Step Down as Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, announces his intention to step down on August 1 to explore writing projects and other professional opportunities.

May 19, 2008: NIH Launches Undiagnosed Diseases Program
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces a new clinical research program that will aim to provide answers to patients with mysterious conditions that have long eluded diagnosis. Called the Undiagnosed Diseases Program, the trans-NIH initiative will focus on the most puzzling medical cases referred to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., by physicians across the nation.

May 7, 2008: Duck-Billed Platypus Genome Sequence Published
The first analysis of the genome sequence of the duck-billed platypus is published in Nature by an international team of scientists, revealing clues about how genomes were organized during the early evolution of mammals. The research was supported in part by the National Human Genome Research Institute.


April 30, 2008: Researchers Produce First Sequence Map Of Large-Scale Structural Variation in Human Genome
A nationwide team of researchers, funded in part by the National Human Genome Research Institute has produced the first sequence-based map of large-scale structural variation across the human genome.

April 29, 2008: Scientists Form International Cancer Genome Consortium
Research organizations from around the world announce they are launching the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), a collaboration designed to generate high-quality genomic data on up to 50 types of cancer through efforts projected to take up to a decade.

April 28, 2008: Research Findings Open New Front in Fight Against AIDS Virus
A research group supported by the National Institutes of Health uncoves a new route for attacking the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that may offer a way to circumvent problems with drug resistance. Those findings are published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


March 30, 2008: Major Collaboration Uncovers Surprising New Genetic Clues to Diabetes
An international team that included scientists from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), reports it has identified six more genetic variants involved in type 2 diabetes, boosting to 16 the total number of genetic risk factors associated with increased risk of the disease. Intriguingly, the new variant most strongly associated with type 2 diabetes also was recently implicated in a very different condition: prostate cancer. The unprecedented analysis was published in the advance online edition of Nature Genetics.

March 17, 2008: NIH Launches Center to Study Genomics and Health Disparities
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces the establishment of the NIH Intramural Center for Genomics and Health Disparities (NICGHD), a new venue for research about the way populations are impacted by diseases, including obesity, diabetes and hypertension. NICGHD will employ a genomics approach, collecting and analyzing genetic, clinical, lifestyle and socio-economic data to study a range of clinical conditions that have puzzled and troubled public health experts for decades.

March 16, 2008: Scientists Identify New Leads for Treating Parasitic Worm Disease
A research team supported by the National Institutes of Health Roadmap and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases identifies chemical compounds that hold promise as potential therapies for schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease that afflicts more than 200 million people worldwide.

March 4, 2008: Genome-Wide Association Study on Parkinson's Disease Finds Public Home at NIH
Data from one of the first genome-wide association studies (GWAS), which focused on Parkinson's diseases and was funded in part by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF), is now available to researchers through the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), both of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


February 14, 2008: NIH Collaborates with EPA to Improve the Safety Testing of Chemicals
Testing the safety of chemicals ranging from pesticides to household cleaners will benefit from new technologies and a plan for collaboration, according to federal scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who have announced a new toxicity testing agreement.


January 22, 2008: International Consortium Announces the 1000 Genomes Project
An international research consortium announces the 1000 Genomes Project, an ambitious effort that will involve sequencing the genomes of at least a thousand people from around the world to create the most detailed and medically useful picture to date of human genetic variation.

January 13, 2008: International Effort Finds New Genetic Variants Associated with Lipid Levels, Risk for Coronary Artery Disease
In an international collaboration supported primarily by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), scientists discover more than 25 genetic variants in 18 genes connected to cholesterol and lipid levels. In the investigation, published online January 13 and in the February print issue of Nature Genetics, the associated genes were found through studies of more than 20,000 individuals and more than 2 million genetic variants, spanning the entire genome.

January 13, 2008: Researchers Uncover New Piece to the Puzzle of Human Height
In studies involving more than 35,000 people and a survey across the entire human genome, an international team supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found evidence that common genetic variants recently linked to osteoarthritis may also play a minor role in human height. The findings were released in the advance online publication of the journal Nature Genetics.

Last Updated: February 13, 2015

Last updated: February 13, 2015