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History of Genomics Program


The History of Genomics Program is a unique history and science communications effort at the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.  

This program uses the history of genomics and the Human Genome Project to promote equity, combat the dehumanization of marginalized communities and build trust in medical advances by confronting past and present-day wrongs, including stigma, eugenics, scientific racism, ableism and heteronormativity. The program develops scholarship, sponsors lectures and symposia, records oral histories and provides access to an archive of documents about NHGRI and the field of genomics. The program supports a vision of genomics as a science for all.


Oral History Collections

Oral histories capture the perspectives and experiences of those involved in major genomics programs and other NHGRI endeavors. They involve interviews with both NHGRI staff and leaders from the wider genomics research community.


NHGRI recognizes pioneers who have left a deep impact on the institute and the genomics community.


NHGRI has developed a database for digital assets. The database contains organized documents with metadata and a search feature for the ease of browsing. To receive more information about gaining access to the database, please send an email to NHGRIHistory@nih.gov.


Scholarly descriptions and analyses of the major genomics programs and other NHGRI endeavors strive to draw upon the knowledge of institute staff and external genomics experts, while also capturing the expertise of professional historians. This includes a monograph-length study on the history of NHGRI human genomic variation programs from the Haplotype Map Project to the recently completed 1000 Genomes Project, and a special issue of the Journal of the History of Biology on the historical legacy of the Human Genome Project and genomics.

Program Staff

Christopher R. Donohue
Christopher R. Donohue, Ph.D.
  • Historian
  • NHGRI History of Genomics Program
Britny J. Kish
Britny J. Kish
  • Deputy Director
  • Office of Communications
Mauresa Pittman
Mauresa Pittman, M.B.A.
  • Lead Public Affairs Specialist
  • Office of Communications
Zach M. Utz
Zachary M. Utz, M.A.
  • Archivist
  • NHGRI History of Genomics Program
Kris Wetterstrand, M.S.
Kris A. Wetterstrand, M.S.
  • Scientific Liaison to the Director for Extramural Activities
  • Office of the Director
Generic Profile Photo
Nicola Sugden, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Engagement Methods Unit
Liz Dietz
Liz Dietz, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Bioethics Core/Institutional Review Board
Theo Tiffney
Theo Tiffney, Ph.D.
  • Communications Specialist
  • Office of Communications
Alvaro W. Encinas
Alvaro W. Encinas
  • Audiovisual Production Specialist
  • Office of Communications

Last updated: August 17, 2023