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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.


Current and Former NHGRI Directors - Part I

In 2014 and 2015, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) filmed a panel discussion with former directors James Watson, Ph.D. and Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., and current director Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D. This invaluable footage animates the roots and growth of NHGRI, as well as the Human Genome Project, from the perspectives of three key figures. Part I of this footage features all three directors discussing the early days of the institute, from the appointments of Drs. Watson and Collins, to the Human Genome Project.

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.