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Remarks from the Human Pangenome Media Briefing

Thank you, Lisa.

Hello, I’m Eric Green, Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, one of the Institutes and Centers that make up the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Today, we announce a major advance in generating a high-quality human pangenome reference.

This pangenome reference represents an incredible scientific achievement, providing an expanding view of humanity's DNA blueprint, with significantly greater human diversity than previous reference sequences.  

With generous federal support, I am proud to say that NHGRI has led the funding of the Human Pangenome Reference Consortium. These efforts exemplify what it means to be at The Forefront of Genomics – which is NHGRI’s organizational mantra. As we described in our latest strategic vision for human genomics, published in Nature in 2020, one of the major areas NHGRI’s responsible stewardship at The Forefront of Genomics is enhancing the foundation used by researchers across the world for doing human genomics research. Generating this human pangenome reference, with plans to improve it even further in the coming years, represents a prototype project for enhancing that foundation.

This project makes tremendous strides towards our goal of achieving truly global diversity in all aspects of human genomics research. This is crucial for advancing the field in an equitable way.

Having a high-quality human pangenome reference that increasingly reflects the diversity of the human population will enable scientists and healthcare professionals to better understand how genomic variants influence health and disease -- and move us towards a future in which genomic medicine benefits everyone.

I want to congratulate everyone in the Human Pangenome Reference Consortium for reaching this amazing milestone! 

And I will now turn things over to my friend and colleague, and one of several outstanding NHGRI grantees you will hear from today, Karen Miga.

Last updated: May 10, 2023