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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.

Alan Guttmacher

Alan Edward Guttmacher, M.D., was the Acting Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) from August 2008 to 2009. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Guttmacher received an A.B. degree in 1972 from Harvard College and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1981. From 1982 to 1985, Dr. Guttmacher completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at Children's Hospital Boston. In 1987, Dr. Guttmacher became director of the Vermont Regional Genetics Center at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. Dr. Guttmacher directed the Vermont Cancer Center's Familial Cancer Program, the Vermont Newborn Screening Program, Vermont's only pediatric intensive care unit, and an NIH-supported initiative that was the nation's first statewide effort to involve the general public in discussion of the Human Genome Project's ethical, legal, and social implications. On December 1, 2009, he became the Acting Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. On August 1, 2010, he became the Director of the The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, retiring in October 2015. In this interview he discusses his education and medical training, his views on the Human Genome Project, his work as a medical geneticist in Vermont and his various roles at the NHGRI.