Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms
Human Genome Project
The Human Genome Project was an international project that mapped and sequenced the entire human genome. Completed in April 2003, data from the project are freely available to researchers and others interested in genetics and human health.
The Human Genome Project was announced in 1990. It was an international effort, but the United States was in a very strong leadership position. And it had this audacious goal of reading out all letters of the human DNA code by 2005. To the great relief of those of us involved in it, and I think the joy of the general public, we finished that project in 2003, more than two years ahead of schedule, and under budget, and produced all of this data in the public domain where, for all time, people can be working on understanding how it works and applying it for medical benefit.
Name: Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Occupation: Director, National Institutes of Health; Former Director, National Human Genome Research Institute
Biography: Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, is noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his visionary leadership of the Human Genome Project, a complex multidisciplinary scientific enterprise directed at mapping and sequencing human DNA. Dr. Collins was the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute from 1993 to 2008. His research has led to the identification of genetic variants associated with type 2 diabetes and the genes responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington's disease and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. In 2007, Dr. Collins received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil award, for his revolutionary contributions to genetic research.