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The NHGRI Reorganization

NHGRI reorganized to meet expanding research mission


NHGRI logo Times change and so, too, should institutions. For the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a natural time for change has arrived, and the institute will reorganize to appropriately reflect its current and future genomics research portfolio and associated activities.

In 1988, NIH created an office that eventually became NHGRI; at the time, the single charge to that office was to oversee NIH's contributions to the Human Genome Project. As such, the office started with a simple organization - a director's office and a team managing grants.

Today, NHGRI manages dozens of scientific projects and a research portfolio that is multifaceted and highly diverse. NHGRI's current suite of responsibilities requires a more sophisticated management structure. Moreover, with the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, NHGRI has worked with the international community of genomics researchers to develop strategic plans to guide the field as a whole.

In February 2011, NHGRI published its most recent plan in the journal Nature: (Charting a course for genomic medicine from base pairs to bedsidePDF file). This new strategic vision is organized around five domains of research activities that together chart a progression from basic research elucidating the structure and biology of genomes, to understanding the biology of disease and advancing the science of medicine. The ultimate goal is to improve the effectiveness of healthcare and advance human health.

To effectively oversee these complex scientific activities, and to better manage the many associated programs now conducted by the institute, NHGRI will implement a new structure that reorganizes the institute from three components - Office of the Director, Division of Extramural Research, and Division of Intramural Research - to seven. Four new divisions will together constitute the institute's Extramural Research Program, while two new divisions will be created from components of the current Office of the Director. The Division of Intramural Research will remain unchanged.

Read more about the new structure at Description of the Reorganization

Learn more about the reorganization at Frequently Asked Questions

Process for Proposed Reorganization

Pursuant to the Public Health Service Act section 401(d)(4) as amended by the National Institutes of Health Reform Act of 2006, (42 USC sec. 281(d)(4)), NHGRI held two public meetings to present the proposed reorganization, answer any related questions and receive feedback from interested individuals about the proposed new structure:

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Last Reviewed: July 3, 2013