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Completed in April 2003, the Human Genome Project gave us the ability to read nature's complete genetic blueprint for a human. This timeline lists key moments from the history of the project.

 

1984-86

Early meetings assess the feasibility of a Human Genome Project. More +

 

1988

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) assembles scientists, administrators and science policy experts to plan for a possible Human Genome Project. More +

 

1988

The National Research Council Commission on Life Sciences and the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment recommend a concerted genome research program. More +

 

1988

NIH and DOE sign a memorandum of understanding to "coordinate research and technical activities related to the human genome." More +

 

1989

HHS establishes the National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR) with James D. Watson as the first director. More +

 

1989-1990

The NIH and Department of Energy each establish an Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Research Program. More +

 

1990

The Human Genome Project begins with an initial five-year plan. More +

 

1992

James D. Watson resigns as the first director of NCHGR. More +

 

1993

Francis S. Collins is appointed NCHGR director. More +

 

1993

The Human Genome Project revises its five-year goals. More +

 

1994

Human Genome Project researchers publish a detailed genetic linkage map of the human genome. More +

 

1995

Human Genome Project researchers publish a physical map of the human genome. More +

 

1996

Bermuda Principles encourage open data access for the Human Genome Project. More +

 

1997

NCHGR becomes the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). More +

 

1998

The Human Genome Project sets new five-year goals. More +

 

1999

The Human Genome Project successfully completes the pilot phase of sequencing the human genome. More +

 

1999

The International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium backs the rapid construction of a "working draft" sequence of the human genome and stands firm on open data access. More +

 

1999

Human Genome Project researchers decode the DNA sequence of the first human chromosome. More +

 

2000

The International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium announces the completion of a "working draft" human genome sequence. More +

 

2001

The International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium publishes an initial analysis of the human genome sequence. More +

 

2003

The Human Genome Project is completed. More +

 

2004

The International Human Genome Sequence Consortium publishes their finished human genome sequence. More +

Last updated: February 12, 2021