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NHGRI and Smithsonian Institution Announce Collaboration on Genome Exhibition


Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Photo Courtesy of the Smithsonian

On May 21, 2012, during the National Advisory Council on Human Genome Research (NACHGR) meeting, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) announced that they had formed a collaboration to develop and launch a new exhibition on the human genome at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The exhibition, scheduled to open in the summer of 2013, will give museum-goers of every age a high-tech, high-intensity experience of what genomic research has accomplished, where the field is going and the impact it will have on human health. The opening is timed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003.


Representatives of NMNH, which will host the exhibition in Hall 23, traveled to the NHGRI council meeting to publicly announce the collaboration that will produce the exhibition. The exhibition will remain at the Smithsonian for about a year, after which it will travel to museums around the world.

Announcement Participants, with NHGRI Director Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D:
Elizabeth Duggal

Elizabeth Duggal serves as the Associate Director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and as the Director of the Smithsonian Institution's International Museum Professional Education Program. As Associate Director, Ms. Duggal manages the planning and development of museum exhibitions, educational programs, digital media, public relations, marketing, visitor services initiatives and special events. She is deeply involved in the fundraising efforts of the Museum and her office is the primary liaison with the business enterprises area of the Smithsonian. As Director of the International Museum Professional Education Program, Ms. Duggal pursues opportunities for the Smithsonian to provide museum professional education services across the globe. She manages the development of innovative partnerships with organizations based in the US and overseas and builds awareness and appreciation of the Smithsonian's role throughout the international community. Ms. Duggal, studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tufts University, and received a graduate business degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She serves as co-chair of the Board of Directors for the U.S. National Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM-US) and Board member of Children's Hospital.

Jonathan Coddington

Jonathan Coddington is Associate Director for Research and Collections and also Senior Scientist/ Curator Senior Curator of Arachnida and Myriapoda, Department of Entomology. He is the former chair of the Departments of Entomology and Zoology (Vertebrate and Invertebrate). Mr. Coddington's research focuses on systematics and evolutionary biology, evolution of behavior and adaptation of spiders. His interests also include the theory and statistics of estimating species richness and the design and theory of biological inventories. He has a B.S. in Biology from Yale University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University (1978, 1984) and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has led or participated in over 70 expeditions to more than 40 countries and serves on the board of six scientific societies.

Heather Virdo

Heather Virdo is the Head of Corporate Giving for Life Technologies and also manages the Life Technologies Foundation. The Life Technologies Foundation is dedicated to advancing science education and changing perspectives on how the application of biology can address societal needs. In particular, the Foundation supports programs that accelerate the adoption and understanding of genomics in healthcare; Global Exhibitions and Science Festivals, and projects that advance life science education among today's educators and tomorrow's scientists through their groundbreaking K-12 hands-on science program, InnovatioNationTM. She has more than 20 years experience working for non-profits and community relations, including the American Heart Association and the Association for Corporate Contributions Professionals, an organization dedicated to developing tools and services for CSR professionals and corporate funders.


Last updated: July 03, 2013