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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, July 1990; 2(2)

Grants Help Support New Regional Office

HHMI and Wellcome Trust Announce Awards to HUGO
The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) has received funding grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and The Wellcome Trust of the United Kingdom to cover operating costs of its new American and European offices.

In May, HHMI announced the award of a $1-million, 4-year grant that will partially fund operations in the HUGO Americas office in Bethesda, Maryland, and its related international activities. These include some meetings of the HUGO Council and its committees and contributions toward a scientist-exchange program.

Earlier this year, The Wellcome Trust in the United Kingdom announced a 3-year grant to HUGO to assist with operations of the European office in London and HUGO's activities in Europe. The Wellcome Trust is providing approximately $296,000 in the first year, with an additional $84,000 available for program activities such as single-chromosome workshops. Subsequent allocations are expected to be smaller as HUGO succeeds in obtaining longer-term support from governments. Probable location of the HUGO London office will be in the headquarters of The Wellcome Trust.

HUGO Objectives and Membership
Major objectives of HUGO are to foster international collaboration among scientists, to serve as a coordinating body in the international Human Genome Project, and to help coordinate physical mapping of individual chromosomes. To accomplish these goals, HUGO will establish international training programs on relevant methodologies and will facilitate the exchange of appropriate data, samples, and technology. HUGO also plans to foster parallel studies of model organisms, such as the mouse, and to coordinate research with the U.S. Human Genome Project. HUGO is committed to encouraging public discussion about the societal impact of data derived from the genome project.

Formed in 1988, HUGO has an elected membership of 239 prominent scientists from 23 nations. U.S. members of the HUGO Council serve to coordinate its activities with U.S. federal agencies, especially NIH and DOE, leaders of the U.S. effort. HUGO's first president was Victor McKusick (Johns Hopkins Medical School), and the second and current president is Sir Walter Bodmer (Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London). See list of HUGO officers.

HHMI Involved Directly in Mapping and Sequencing Research
Through its research program, HHMI has been extensively involved in mapping and sequencing human genes. Since 1985 HHMI has supported collection and dissemination of information on genome mapping through a network of databases, including the new genome data library and information center supported by HHMI at Johns Hopkins University.

HHMI, established in 1953, employs scientists in the fields of cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, and structural biology. HHMI investigators conduct their research in collaboration with outstanding academic medical centers and universities throughout the United States. The Institute also supports science education through its grants program.

Wellcome Trust Supports Medical Research
The Wellcome Trust, Britain's largest medical research charity, was established in 1936 under the will of Sir Henry Wellcome. The Trust derives its income almost entirely from its investment portfolio, which includes 75% of the share equity of Wellcome PLC, the multinational pharmaceutical enterprise operating in North America as Burroughs Wellcome.

The Trust supports all aspects of medical research (except cancer), primarily through grants to investigators in British universities and medical schools. A total of $100 million will probably be allocated during FY 1989-90.

Director of the Trust, P. O. Williams, views the establishment of HUGO and its international coordinating role as a positive step in ensuring that all nations share in efforts to map and sequence the human genome. According to Williams: The potential benefits accruing from this project in relation to understanding human diseases cannot be overestimated.

HUGO Officers

  • President
    • Walter Bodmer
      [Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF), London]
  • Regional Vice Presidents
    • Charles R. Cantor
      North America (Director, DOE Human Genome Center, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory)
    • Kenichi Matsubara
      Asia (Director, Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Osaka University, Japan)
    • Andrei D. Mirzabekov
      Eastern Europe (Director, Institute of Molecular Biology of the Academy of Sciences in the Soviet Union)
  • Secretary
    • Bronwen Loder
  • Treasurer
    • George Cahill
      (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)

Reported by Anne Adamson and Judy Wyrick

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Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v2n2).

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.