National Human Genome Research Institute

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The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is a division of the National Institutes of Health, located in Bethesda, Maryland.

NHGRI began as the National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR), which was established in 1989 to carry out the role of the NIH in the International Human Genome Project (HGP). The HGP was developed in collaboration with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and began in 1990 to map the human genome. In 1993, NCHGR expanded its role on the NIH campus by establishing the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) to apply genome technologies to the study of specific diseases. In 1996, the Center for Inherited Disease Research (CIDR) was also established (co-funded by eight NIH institutes and centers) to study the genetic components of complex disorders.

In 1997 the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) renamed NCHGR the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), officially elevating it to the status of research institute - one of 27 institutes and centers that make up the NIH.

Now, with the human genome sequence complete since April 2003, scientists around the world have access to a database that greatly facilitates and accelerates the pace of biomedical research.

Important Events in NHGRI History

Main Article: Important events in NHGRI history
  • October 1, 1988 - The Office for Human Genome Research is created within the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH). Also, NIH and the Department of Energy (DOE) sign a memorandum of understanding to "coordinate research and technical activities related to the human genome."
  • April 11, 1996 - Human DNA sequencing begins with pilot studies at six universities in the United States.
  • March 1999 - Large-scale sequencing of the human genome begins.
  • April 2003 - The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) celebrates the completion of the human genome sequence, the 50th anniversary of the description of the DNA double helix and the publication of the vision document for the future of genomics research.
  • May 4, 2007-The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), have teamed with Group Health Cooperative in Seattle and Henry Ford Health System in Detroit to launch the Multiplex Initiative[1], a study to investigate the interest level of healthy, young adults in receiving genetic testing for eight common conditions.


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