National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Nhgri logo vertical.jpg
Agency overview
JurisdictionFederal government of the United States
Agency executive
Parent departmentUnited States Department of Health and Human Services
Parent agencyNational Institutes of Health

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

NHGRI began as the Office of Human Genome Research in The Office of the Director in 1988. This Office transitioned to the National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR), 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 sequence 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.

The institute announced the successful sequencing of the human genome in April 2003, but there were still gaps remaining until the release of T2T-CHM13 by the Telomere-to-Telomere Consortium.[1][2]

Organizational structure

NHGRI is organized into seven divisions and the Office of the Director.[3] Four of these divisions support extramural research (the grant-giving side), one coordinates the intramural (on-campus) research arm of the institute, one deals with administration, management, and budget, and one serves as the public-facing side of the institute housing the communications, policy, and education teams.


Main article: List of events in NHGRI history

Past Directors

Past Directors from 1989 - present[7]

Portrait Director Took Office Left Office
James D Watson.jpg
James Watson 1989 April 1992
Michael Gottesman (41871897991).jpg
Michael M. Gottesman (acting) April 1992 April 1993
Francis S. Collins (from the NHGRI).jpg
Francis Collins April 1993 August 2008
Alan Edward Guttmacher (acting) August 2008 December 2009
Dr Eric D Green, Director of NHGRI.jpg
Eric D. Green December 2009 Present

CEER centers

In 1990 as part of the Human Genome Project, the NHGRI dedicated 5% of its annual budget to explore the ethical, legal, and social implications of genomic research. This program's current priorities focus on the ethical applications of genomics to as it applies to communities, families, and individuals in areas such as healthcare, research, defense, intellectual property, regulation, policy, and larger social issues.[8] In 2004 the ELSI program established several Centers for Excellence in ELSI research (CEER). It was funded with substantial contributions from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. CEER centers have a common focus on the ethical, social, and legal implications resulting from the advances in genomic research.[9]

The initial centers were[10]

This center is focused on equitable distribution and use of translational genome research in underserved and marginalized communities. CGHE has several cores working to address different lenses of health disparities, genomic research, and outreach education. These cores include the Partnership core, the Genome Sciences core, the Healthcare Decision-making core and the Indigenous Genomics Alliance.[11]


The NHGRI is publicly funded. In support of moving to a translational model, the NHGRI published their funding mechanisms for ELSI research.[12] FY 2020 NIH funding was $650.6 million.[13]

See also


  1. ^ Samorodnitsky, Dan (2020-11-09). "The NIH is turning the human reference genome into a pangenome". Massive Science. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  2. ^ Nurk S, Koren S, Rhie A, Rautiainen M, Bzikadze AV, Mikheenko A, et al. (March 31, 2022). "The complete sequence of a human genome". Science. 376 (6588): 44–53. doi:10.1126/science.abj6987.
  3. ^ "Organization". National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  4. ^ "Study to Probe How Healthy Younger Adults Make Use of Genetic Tests". May 4, 2007.
  5. ^ "Francis S. Collins to Step Down as Director of National Human Genome Research Institute". May 28, 2008.
  6. ^ staff (2008-06-15). "Francis Colins to Leave NHGRI August 1". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (print). Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. p. 7.
  7. ^ "NHGRI Directors".
  8. ^ "Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research Program".
  9. ^ "CGHE as a CEER | CGHE". August 31, 2004. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2020-01-22.
  10. ^ "NHGRI Launches Centers for Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research".
  11. ^ "Welcome to the Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality | CGHE". 2016-03-04. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2019-12-07.
  12. ^ NHGRI, NIH. "Concept Clearance" (PDF). NHGRI CEER. NHGRI. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  13. ^ Philippidis, Alex (2020-09-21). "Top 50 NIH-Funded Institutions of 2020". GEN - Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  14. ^ "Matise Lab of Computational Genetics". Retrieved 2021-10-19.

Coordinates: 39°00′01″N 77°06′12″W / 39.00037°N 77.10335°W / 39.00037; -77.10335