News Release Archive



December 7, 2011: US Tox21 to begin screening 10,000 chemicals
A high-speed robotic screening system, aimed at protecting human health by improving how chemicals are tested in the United States, begins today to test 10,000 compounds for potential toxicity. The compounds cover a wide variety of classifications, and include consumer products, food additives, chemicals found in industrial processes, and human and veterinary drugs. Testing this 10,000 compound library begins a new phase of an ongoing collaboration between the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, referred to as Tox21.

December 6, 2011: NHGRI broadens sequencing program focus on inherited diseases, medical applications
A new funding plan by the National Human Genome Research Institute sharpens the focus of its flagship Genome Sequencing Program on medical applications. In addition to continuing on-going studies, the four-year, $416 million plan launches new efforts to find causes of rare inherited diseases and accelerate the use of genome sequence information in the medical care of patients.


November 15, 2011: NIH Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases Program announces next round of drug development projects
Researchers will begin drug development projects for rare and neglected diseases that include potential treatments for a musculoskeletal disorder, a cognitive dysfunction disorder, a virus that affects the central nervous system of newborns, a parasitic worm infection, a form of muscular dystrophy and a rare lung disease. The six new projects are part of the National Institutes of Health's Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) program.


October 6, 2011: NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program documents two-year pilot as clinic of last resort
After its first two years of work, the Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP) of the National Institutes of Health is citing successes in patients whose cases have stumped specialists at leading medical institutions around the country. The researchers published the program's first retrospective analysis in the Sept. 26, 2011 early online issue of Genetics in Medicine.


September 29, 2011: NIH to make a mightier mouse resource for understanding disease
Over the next five years, National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded researchers will extensively test and generate data about mice with disrupted genes to gain clues about human diseases. NIH today awarded a set of cooperative agreements totaling more than $110 million to begin the second phase of the Knockout Mouse Project (KOMP). The results of the next stage, called the Knockout Mouse Phenotyping Project, or KOMP2, will be placed in a public database. Researchers make knockout mice by disrupting the function of individual genes across the animal's genome.

September 11, 2011: International genome consortium discovers new genes that control blood pressure
In one of the largest genomics studies ever, an international research consortium that includes the National Institutes of Health has identified 29 genetic variations across 28 regions of the human genome that influence blood pressure. This unprecedented effort brought together more than 230 researchers across six continents and scanned the genomes of over 200,000 people. The results appear in the Sept. 11 edition of Nature.

September 6, 2011: NIH genome institute announces key leadership appointments
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) announces the appointment of two senior staff to key leadership positions in the NIH institute best known for leading the Human Genome Project. Mark S. Guyer, Ph.D., currently director of NHGRI's Division of Extramural Research, becomes only the third deputy director of the institute, and James C. Mullikin, Ph.D., acting director of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center (NISC), has been selected to be that center's permanent director.


August 24, 2011: Researchers produce detailed map of gene activity in mouse brain
Researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and from Oxford University in the United Kingdom, have published a description of the new atlas in the Aug. 25, 2011, journal Neuron. The study describes the activity of more than 11,000 genes in the six layers of brain cells that make up the cerebral cortex.

August 22, 2011: NHGRI funds development of revolutionary DNA sequencing technologies
Researchers today received more than $14 million in grants to develop DNA sequencing technologies that will rapidly sequence a person's genome for $1000 or less. The National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, awarded the grants to enable the everyday use of DNA sequencing technologies by biomedical researchers and health care providers.

August 17, 2011: eMERGE network moves closer to tailored treatments based on patients' genomic information
Researchers in the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) network will receive $25 million over the next four years to demonstrate that patients' genomic information linked to disease characteristics and symptoms in their electronic medical records can be used to improve their care. The grants are from the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, which supports research by the network's seven institutions and coordinating center.

August 4, 2011: Screening effort turns up multiple potential anti-malaria compounds
Numerous potential anti-malarial candidate drugs have been uncovered by investigators from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), both parts of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The study was published in the August 4 online issue of the journal Science.


July 27, 2011: NIH researchers identify gene variant in Proteus syndrome
A team of researchers has identified the genetic mutation that causes Proteus syndrome, a rare disorder in which tissue and bone grows massively out of proportion. The discovery, which has implications for potential drug therapies and even cancer, appears in the July 27, 2011, early online edition of The New England Journal of Medicine. The team was led by researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health.


June 29, 2011: The Cancer Genome Atlas completes detailed ovarian cancer analysis
An analysis of genomic changes in ovarian cancer has provided the most comprehensive and integrated view of cancer genes for any cancer type to date. Ovarian serous adenocarcinoma tumors from 500 patients were examined by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network and analyses are reported in the June 30, 2011, issue of Nature.

June 13, 2011: NIH researchers find new clues about aging
National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a new pathway that sets the clock for programmed aging in normal cells. The study provides insights about the interaction between a toxic protein called progerin and telomeres, which cap the ends of chromosomes like aglets, the plastic tips that bind the ends of shoelaces. The study by researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) was published in the June 13, 2011 early online edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


May 25, 2011: NIH and non-profits sign research and development agreement
The National Institutes of Health today announced an agreement with two non-profit organizations to accelerate the development of potential clinical therapies for rare blood cancers. The cooperative research and development agreement has been established as a shared commitment to move therapies for rare blood cancers into clinical proof-of-concept studies so that promising treatments can eventually be commercialized. The agreement is among the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), the NIH Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) program and the Hematology Branch within the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.


April 27, 2011: NIH researchers create comprehensive collection of approved drugs to identify new therapies for rare and neglected diseases
Researchers have begun screening the first definitive collection of thousands of approved drugs for clinical use against rare and neglected diseases. They are hunting for additional uses of the drugs, hoping to find off-label therapies for some of the 6,000 rare diseases that afflict 25 million Americans. The effort is coordinated by the National Institutes of Health's Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC). The research is described in a paper appearing in the April 27 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

April 15, 2011: NIH researchers complete whole-exome sequencing of skin cancer
A team led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health is the first to systematically survey the landscape of the melanoma genome, the DNA code of the deadliest form of skin cancer. The researchers have made surprising new discoveries using whole-exome sequencing, an approach that decodes the 1-2 percent of the genome that contains protein-coding genes. The study appears in the April 15, 2011, early online issue of Nature Genetics.

April 8, 2011: NIH researchers identify cause and new treatment for common recurrent fever in children
A preliminary study conducted by a team at the National Institutes of Health has identified a promising new treatment in children for the most common pediatric fever disease in children. The syndrome is called periodic fever associated with aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and cervical adenitis - or PFAPA - and is characterized by monthly flare-ups of fever, accompanied by sore throat, swollen glands and mouth lesions.


March 10, 2011: New robot system to test 10,000 chemicals for toxicity
Several federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, today unveiled a new high-speed robot screening system that will test 10,000 different chemicals for potential toxicity. The system marks the beginning of a new phase of an ongoing collaboration, referred to as Tox21, that is working to protect human health by improving how chemicals are tested in the United States.


February 9, 2011: NHGRI charts course for the next phase of genomics research
A new strategic plan from an arm of the National Institutes of Health envisions scientists being able to identify genetic bases of most single-gene disorders and gaining new insights into multi-gene disorders in the next decade. This should lead to more accurate diagnoses, new drug targets and the development of practical treatments for many who today lack therapeutic options, according to the plan from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). Molecular pathways that are implicated in single-gene disorders may hold important clues for the diagnosis and treatment of common disease, according to the strategic plan, Charting a course for genomic medicine from base pairs to bedside, in the Feb. 10 issue of the journal Nature.

February 2, 2011: NIH researchers identify genetic cause of new vascular disease
Clinical researchers at the National Institutes of Health's Undiagnosed Diseases Program have identified the genetic cause of a rare and debilitating vascular disorder not previously explained in the medical literature. The adult-onset condition is associated with progressive and painful arterial calcification affecting the lower extremities, yet spares patients' coronary arteries. The new disease finding was published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.


January 26, 2011: Scientists publish orangutan genome sequence
Orangutans and humans share 97 percent of their DNA sequence, according to an analysis of the great ape's genome published today in the Jan. 27 issue of Nature by an international group of scientists. The orangutan is the third non-human primate to have its genome sequenced, after the chimp and rhesus macaque.

Last Reviewed: February 13, 2015

Last updated: February 13, 2015