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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 interactive timeline lists key moments from the history of the project.



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



Francis S. Collins is appointed NCHGR director. More +



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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 +



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



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



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



The Human Genome Project is completed. More +



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

** James Watson was the first NHGRI Director and appears here as part of our history collection. Despite his scientific achievements, Dr. Watson’s career was also punctuated by a number of offensive and scientifically erroneous comments about his beliefs on race, nationalities, homosexuality, gender and other societal topics. Dr. Watson’s opinions on these topics are unsupported by science and are counter to the mission and values of NHGRI.

Last updated: July 5, 2022