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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, September-December 1995; 7(3-4):2

David Smith is a founder and current Director of the DOE Human Genome Program. In September, at the seventh annual Genome Sequencing and Analysis meeting in Hilton Head, South Carolina, Smith reflected on principles guiding the establishment and management of the genome project and proffered some insights into where it all may lead. Along the way, he answered one of the questions asked most frequently of DOE genome program staffers: Why is DOE involved in the genome project?

Smith became intrigued by DNA studies in the mid-1950s at a small college in Nebraska where, as he explains it, "An embryology teacher opened my eyes to the significance of DNA, and from there, my main scientific motivation was almost philosophical."

After doctoral studies in biochemistry at the University of Southern California, Smith began his DOE career with an appointment at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In 1977 he began managing the molecular biology programs at the Energy Research and Development Administration, a forerunner of DOE, in Germantown, Maryland. Here Smith's ideas about the importance of understanding DNA eventually took shape and became a rationale guiding DOE toward implementation of what has become the largest project to be carried out in biology.


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Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v7n3).

Human Genome Project 1990–2003

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international 13-year effort, 1990 to 2003. Primary goals were to discover the complete set of human genes and make them accessible for further biological study, and determine the complete sequence of DNA bases in the human genome. See Timeline for more HGP history.

Human Genome News

Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.