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NHGRI Redesigns genome.gov

News April 04, 2019

In March, the NIH Intramural Research Program was featured on CBS' 60 minutes. Specifically, the story focused on the recent successes of one of NIH's intramural researchers, Dr. John Tisdale of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, who is working to develop a gene therapy-based treatment for sickle cell disease. This inspirational piece illustrates yet another triumph of genomic medicine and offers hope for similar new treatments for other rare diseases.

All the best,

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A New Genome.gov

Website coming soon

NHGRI places a high value on the effective sharing of information about the Institute's work with researchers, educators, policymakers, and the public. Such sharing plays an integral role in strengthening research partnerships, informing policy, and educating society about genomic advances. A key element among these efforts is NHGRI's website, genome.gov. For the first time in 9 years, genome.gov is undergoing a complete redesign.

It is easy to marvel at how much genomics has changed in the last decade. Ten years ago, it cost ~$100,000 dollars to sequence a human genome; today, it costs ~$1,000. There has been an explosion in the public's interest in genomic applications, including Direct-to-Consumer genomic testing, ancestry profiling, DNA forensics, and genomic medicine. Likewise, the internet and digital communications have changed substantially over the same period of time. NHGRI's redesigned website will reflect the latest advances in web design, layout, and usability to highlight better the latest advances in genomics research.

The redesigned website aims to capture the viewer's imagination. With bold statements and large, vivid images, genome.gov's home page will be designed to quickly steer any visitor to the content that is most relevant to them. Deeper in the website, researchers will find information about funding, collaboration, and professional-development opportunities. Meanwhile, educators will find lesson plans, learn new ways to communicate with their students, and discover the latest community-involvement events. There is even a place for those who are new to genomics for learning some basics. Because there is something for everyone across a broad audience, the redesigned website will provide a launching pad for strong discourse among policymakers, the public, and researchers.

Today, websites are viewed in many ways. NHGRI's Communications and Public Liaison Branch is designing the new genome.gov site to work seamlessly on phones, tablets, and computers. This flexibility will bring the work of the Institute to new audiences. Everyone from the general public to research investigators will be able to access NHGRI with the tips of their fingers and in the front of their minds.

The redesigned website will also be designed with room to grow. It will be built with open source, flexible software that will provide freedom to adapt and modify the presentation of information to stay current with the fast-paced changes in genomics. It will further provide opportunities for NHGRI's web developers to participate in the open source development community, improving and evolving the website as new innovations arrive and showcasing NHGRI's work in cutting-edge ways.

The approach for redesigning genome.gov also directly embraces NHGRI's new mantra - The Forefront of Genomics. It will put the Institute's scientific breakthroughs in the spotlight in modern and engaging ways, serving to advance scientific partnerships, expand understanding about genomics research, communicate achievements to a broad audience, and further the goal of broadening society's understanding of genomics' role in human health and disease. Tune into genome.govin the coming weeks to see the redesigned website.

Dr. Laura Rodriguez Departs NHGRI

Laura Rodriguez

NHGRI's Director of the Division of Policy, Communications, and Education, Dr. Laura Lyman Rodriguez, will depart the Institute this month to begin a new opportunity at Geisinger National Precision Health as their Director for Genome Policy and National Engagement. Laura joined NHGRI in 2002, held a number of different positions, spearheaded numerous initiatives, and worked closely with several NHGRI Directors, both acting and permanent. As a Division Director, she has worked to develop and implement policies, design communication and outreach strategies, and prepare the public and healthcare professionals for the future of genomic medicine. As a leader in the development of the NIH Policy for Data Sharing in Genome-Wide Association Studies and the follow-on NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy, Laura helped to shape the agency's approach to sharing NIH-supported genomic research data. We wish Laura all the best in her role at Geisinger; she will no doubt continue to push the field of genomics forward.

National DNA Day 2019

Girl in classroom

On April 25, NHGRI and the genomics community will celebrate an exciting annual event - National DNA Day. This year marks the 16thanniversary of National DNA Day, which was established to celebrate the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA in 1953. On this day, students, teachers, and the public are engaged and encouraged to learn more about advances in genetics and genomics. This year's National DNA Day features an exciting assortment of online and in-person events, all of which are open to the general community. One of these activities features NHGRI Program Director, Dr. Erin Ramos, who will speak about advances in genomic medicine at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History for their HOT (Human Origins Today) Topic public forum series; this National DNA Day eventwill take place Friday, April 26, 2018.

Travel Awards Enhance Africa's Participation at ASHG Meeting


NHGRI is collaborating with the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) to expand their Developing Country Awards Program to include 25 new awards. These new awards will allow 25 genetics trainees and/or early- to mid-career investigators from Africa to attend the 2019 ASHG Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas in October. These travel awards will be funded by NHGRI; the NIH Common Fund's Human, Heredity, and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Program; and ASHG. The goals of the awards are to increase interactions among international researchers, to provide training for the next generation of African researchers, and to grow the cadre of trained genomics, genetics, and biomedical researchers in Africa. For more information, see the ASHG announcement.

2020 Vision for Genomics

To stay informed about the various strategic planning events, please sign up for email updates and monitor the 'Genomics2020' calendar.

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Genome: Unlocking Life's Code

The Genome: Unlocking Life's Code exhibition is currently touring North America.

Current: January 19, 2019 - May 19, 2019
McWane Science Center
Birmingham, Alabama

Next: Summer 2019
DaVinci Science Center
Allentown, PA

Learn More
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About The Genomics Landscape

A monthly update from the NHGRI Director on activities and accomplishments from the institute and the field of genomics.


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Last updated: April 4, 2019