With the arrival of a new institute director two years ago and publication of a new strategic plan last year articulating an ambitious vision for the field of genomics, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is restructuring, NHGRI Director Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D., announced on September 10, 2012.
NHGRI will expand from the current structure of two divisions — the Division of Extramural Research, which manages grants, and the Division of Intramural Research, which conducts research in the institute's own laboratories — and the Office of the Director to seven divisions.
The new configuration will transform the institute's extramural research program into four new divisions: Division of Genome Sciences, Division of Genomic Medicine, Division of Genomics and Society and Division of Extramural Operations. The other new divisions will be the Division of Policy, Communications and Education and the Division of Management. The Division of Intramural Research will remain essentially unchanged. Details about the proposed reorganization can be found at www.genome.gov/reorg.
"All organizations evolve over time," said NHGRI Director Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D. "In 1988, NIH created the office that became NHGRI to manage a single project: The Human Genome Project. Today, NHGRI runs some two-dozen named projects and myriad unnamed research initiatives. We need a management structure that is suitably configured for our current research portfolio — the proposed reorganization will provide that."
Under the amendments to the Public Health Service Act made by the 2006 National Institutes of Health Reform Act, any significant reorganization of an institute or center requires public meetings to be held to receive feedback. To comply with this, NHGRI held two conferences.
The first was at 2:30 p.m. Eastern, Wednesday, January 18, 2012. This was a 90-minute 'virtual' meeting — a tele-briefing during which participants heard a presentation by NHGRI Director Green on a moderated conference line, and participants made statements and asked questions of NHGRI leadership.
The second public meeting was held 1:00 p.m. Eastern, February 13, 2012, during the regularly scheduled meeting of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research, which is the board that oversees the institute's grant-making activities. The public participated in this meeting either by listening on the phone or watching the live webcast of the meeting through the institute's website, or by attending in person at the NIH Conference Center in Rockville, Md.
After considering the public feedback about the proposed reorganization, NHGRI finalized its reorganization plans and submitted them for review per standard NIH policy. The reorganization will be implemented Oct. 1, 2012
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Last Updated: September 9, 2012