NHGRI logo

The Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center helps people find useful information about genetic and rare diseases


The Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) was created in 2002 by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the Office of Rare Diseases Research (ORDR) - two agencies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). GARD provides immediate, virtually round-the-clock access to experienced information specialists who can furnish current and accurate information - in both English and Spanish - about genetic and rare diseases.

So far, GARD has responded to over many inquiries on rare and genetic diseases. Requests come not only from patients and their families, but also from physicians, nurses and other health-care professionals.

GARD also has proved useful to genetic counselors, occupational and physical therapists, social workers, and teachers who work with people with a genetic or rare disease. Even scientists who are studying a genetic or rare disease and who need information for their research have contacted GARD, as have people who are taking part in a clinical study.

Community leaders looking to help people find resources for those with genetic or rare diseases and advocacy groups who want up-to-date disease information for their members have contacted GARD. And members of the media who are writing stories about genetic or rare diseases have found the information GARD has on hand useful, accurate and complete.


How to Contact a Specialist

GARD does not provide genetic counseling and does not offer diagnostic testing, referrals, medical treatment or advice. Please contact a specialist using one of the following options:

By Telephone:

  • Monday - Friday, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time
  • Phone: (888) 205-2311

  • International Phone: 1 (301) 251-4925

  • TTY: (888) 205-3223

By E-mail Form or Fax:

  • E-mail Form: Contact Us
    On the GARD website.

  • Fax: (301) 251-4911

By U.S. Mail:

  • The Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center
    P.O. Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126

Advice from GARD

Last updated: May 18, 2018