NHGRI creates Office of Training, Diversity and Health Equity
New office to help achieve goals for training a more diverse genomics workforce and addressing health disparities.
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has established the Office of Training, Diversity and Health Equity (TiDHE) to enable the highest level of genomic innovation by fostering diversity and health equity in genomics and genomic medicine. It will also serve as the central coordinating office for training and career development across the Institute.
Vence Bonham, Jr., J.D., who was appointed NHGRI’s acting deputy director in May, is leading the Institute’s work related to diversity, inclusion, health equity, anti-racism and social justice. Bonham will direct the new office on an interim basis until a permanent director is appointed.
The TiDHE office has been established to enable the highest level of genomic innovation by fostering diversity and health equity in genomics and genomic medicine. Credit: Ernesto del Aguila III, NHGRI.
“This organizational change reflects the Institute’s growing commitment to training, diversity and health equity,” said NHGRI Director Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D. “This office will serve as a catalyst for implementing major enhancements to our training program as well as our action agenda to build a more diverse genomics workforce, in addition to facilitating broader efforts in health equity research in genomics. ”
The mission of the TiDHE Office is to develop and support initiatives that cultivate genomics training and workforce development with a commitment to enhance opportunities for individuals underrepresented in biomedical research. It also aims to promote genomics research to improve minority health, reduce health disparities and foster health equity. The office will be organizationally located within NHGRI’s Office of the Director.
“The TiDHE Office will work in close partnership with all parts of NHGRI and across the NIH institutes, centers and offices,” Bonham said. “I like to think of the office’s establishment as a wave in a rising tide of change within the genomics community; all of us working together to lift up people and communities that have been historically left out.”
The TiDHE Office will be reaching beyond NIH to forge partnerships with private industry, non-profit organizations and other groups to support new opportunities for underrepresented individuals. It aims to incubate emerging, potentially transformative ideas and to co-create new programs and high-impact initiatives aimed at enhancing the diversity of the genomics workforce.
The office also plans to provide programmatic leadership for NHGRI’s research efforts to reduce health disparities and foster health equity in areas related to genomics and genomic medicine.
“This is an incredibly exciting time to be a part of what NHGRI is doing to meaningfully advance diversity,” Bonham said. “Nearly 20 years ago, this Institute transformed biology by helping to lead the Human Genome Project. Now, we are being transformative again by recruiting and retaining a diverse cadre of innovative, talented minds to realize the next generation of genomic advances.”
NHGRI plans to recruit the first TiDHE director in the spring of 2022.
Last updated: October 12, 2021