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Human Genome News, Mar.-Apr. 1995; 6(6)

News from HUGO

Patenting Statement Issued

The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) has released a 15-page statement about the patenting of DNA sequences. The statement summary reads in part, "HUGO is worried that the patenting of partial and uncharacterized cDNA sequences will reward those who make routine discoveries but penalize those who determine biological function or application. Such an outcome would impede the development of diagnostics and therapeutics, which is clearly not in the public interest. HUGO is also dedicated to the early release of genome information, thus accelerating widespread investigation of functional aspects of genes. This statement explains our concerns."

The statement was prepared by HUGO President C. Thomas Caskey (Merck Research Laboratories), Rebecca Eisenberg (University of Michigan Law School), Eric Lander (Whitehead Institute), and Joseph Straus (Max Planck Institute) and approved by the HUGO Council. It appears in HUGO Europe Genome Digest [2(2), 6-9 (April 1995)] and is available in hard copy by e-mail request from the HUGO Americas office.

Sutherland, van Ommen Named

The HUGO Council has elected Grant R. Sutherland (Adelaide Women and Children's Hospital, Australia) as the fourth president of HUGO. His 3-year term will begin January 1, 1996. As president-elect in 1995, Sutherland is working closely with the current president. Gert-Jan van Ommen (University of Leiden, Netherlands) has succeeded Kay Davies (John Radcliffe Hospital, U.K.) as HUGO Vice-President for Europe, effective January 1 of this year.

Membership Expands

Policies were initiated last year to make HUGO more representative by extending membership to all persons concerned with human genome research and related scientific subjects. Since then, the number of members has risen steadily to over 600 people in almost 40 countries. Membership now requires a standard application form, supporting signatures of two current HUGO members, a one-page curriculum vitae, and a list of five key publications.

Travel Awards Available

Short-term (2- to 10-week) travel awards up to $1500 are available for investigators under age 40 to visit another country to learn new methods or techniques. Applications must be submitted at least 6 weeks before a proposed visit.

Application requirements

  • Work plan.
  • Applicant's curriculum vitae, including publications.
  • Travel expense details.
  • Supporting declaration by a HUGO member.
  • Supporting declaration by head of host laboratory.
  • Supporting letter from applicant's department head.

For more information on HUGO travel awards or membership, contact one of the regional offices listed below.

Regional Offices

7986-D Old Georgetown Rd.
Bethesda, MD 20814
Fax: /652-3368


One Park Square West
London NW1 4LJ, U.K.
Fax: -8341


Human Genome Center
Institute of Medical Science
University of Tokyo
4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku Tokyo 108, Japan
+81-3/5449-5622, Fax: -5445

HUGO Council

Terms Ending 1995

  • Walter Bodmer, U.K.
  • C. Thomas Caskey, U.S.A.
  • David Cox, U.S.A.
  • Victor McKusick, U.S.A.
  • Gert-Jan van Ommen, Netherlands
  • Ronald Worton, Canada

Terms Ending 1996

  • Anthony Carrano, U.S.A.
  • Lev Kisselev, Russia
  • Leena Peltonen, Finland
  • Sergio Pena, Brazil
  • John Sulston, U.K.
  • Jean Weissenbach, France

Terms Ending 1997

  • Andrea Ballabio, Italy
  • Eric Lander, U.S.A.
  • Ulf Pettersson, Sweden
  • Susan Povey, U.K.
  • Yoshiyuki Sakaki, Japan
  • Ellen Solomon, U.K.

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The electronic form of the newsletter may be cited in the following style:
Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v6n6).

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.