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30th Anniversary of the Human Genome Project

Interviews with genomics leaders

October 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the Human Genome Project (HGP). To commemorate this historic milestone, NHGRI’s History of Genomics Program is featuring 30 oral history interviews with prominent genomics experts relevant to the HGP and the broader field of genomics. This collection includes interviews with HGP architects, government officials who managed the HGP and researchers who actively contributed to the HGP’s success. We will feature one oral history per week for 30 consecutive weeks, culminating on Oct. 1, 2020.


George Church

George Church, Ph.D. had unconventional beginnings, publishing five papers on x-ray crystallography of tRNA – or transfer RNA, a small type of RNA molecule that helps decode the DNA sequence into a protein – while flunking out of graduate school at Duke University. Changing schools, he successfully finished his doctoral work at Harvard University and is now regarded as one of the leading innovators of the Human Genome Project. He currently works on the cutting edge of contemporary genetic investigation as professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Church’s oral history is essentially a history of DNA sequencing technology with vital insights into what the future may hold.