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An overview, benefits and methodology of HGP
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- Human Genome Project
The Project was launched in 1986 by Charles DeLisi, who was then Director of the US Department of Energy's Health and Environmental Research Programs. He was later awarded the Citizen's medal by President Clinton for his seminal role in the Project. The goals and general strategy of the Project were outlined in a two-page memo to the Assistant Secretary in April 1986, which helped garner support from the DOE, the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the United States Congress, especially Senator Pete Domenici. A series of Scientific Advisory meetings, and complex negotiations with senior Federal officials resulted in a line item for the Project in the 1987 Presidential budget submission to the Congress.Initiation of the Project was the culmination of several years of work supported by the US Department of Energy, in particular a feasibility workshop in 1986 and a subsequent detailed description of the Human Genome Initiative in a report that led to the formal sanctioning of the initiative by the Department of Energy. This 1987 report stated boldly, "The ultimate goal of this initiative is to understand the human genome" and "Knowledge of the human genome is as necessary to the continuing progress of medicine and other health sciences as knowledge of human anatomy has been for the present state of medicine." Candidate technologies were already being considered for the proposed undertaking at least as early as 1985. James D. Watson was Head of the National Center for Human Genome Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States starting from 1988. Largely due to his disagreement with his boss, Bernadine Healy, over the issue of patenting genes, he was forced to resign in 1992. He was replaced by Francis Collins in April 1993 and the name of the Center was changed to the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in 1997.
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