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Human Genome News Archive Edition

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

Major Events in the Human Genome Project

There is a current timeline available.

(Acronym list)


  • DOE OHER and ICPEMC cosponsor Alta, Utah, conference highlighting the growing role of recombinant DNA technologies. OTA incorporates Alta proceedings into report acknowledging value of human genome reference sequence.


  • Robert Sinsheimer holds meeting on human genome sequencing at University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • Charles DeLisi and David Smith develop plans for DOE Human Genome Initiative.


  • DOE OHER announces Human Genome Initiative after meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to explore its feasibility. Pilot mapping and informatics projects are pursued at DOE national laboratories to develop critical resources and technologies for genomic analyses.


  • Funding for NIH genome research begins, with funds administered by NIGMS for 2 years.
  • DOE HERAC publishes recommendations for 15-year, multidisciplinary, scientific and technological undertaking to map and sequence the human genome. DOE designates specialized human genome centers. DOE management publishes first program plans with Program Director Benjamin Barnhart.


  • OTA and NRC's Committee on Mapping and Sequencing the Human Genome publish highly influential reports recommending concerted genome research program and laying out scientific strategy. NRC recommends budget reaching $200 million a year.
  • NIH Director James Wyngaarden assembles scientists, administrators, science-policy experts to develop NIH plan for HGP.
  • HUGO founded by scientists to coordinate international collaboration.
  • First annual Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory meeting on human genome mapping and sequencing.
  • NIH creates Office for Human Genome Research within the Office of the Director. James D. Watson named Associate Director for Human Genome Research.
  • NIH establishes PACHG to advise on all aspects of genomic-analysis research.
  • DOE and NIH sign MOU outlining plans for cooperation on genome research.
  • DOE forms HGCC to provide external expertise and facilitate development and implementation of genome technology and informatics.


  • NIH and DOE hold first planning retreat to develop joint 5-year goals.
  • DHHS Secretary Louis Sullivan establishes NCHGR at NIH. James Watson named first Director.
  • STSs proposed as common mapping language.
  • First genome sequence and analysis conference held at Wolf Trap, Virginia.
  • DOE holds first contractor-grantee workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • NIH and DOE establish Joint ELSI Working Group.


  • David Galas named OHER Associate Director responsible for DOE Human Genome Program.
  • DOE and NIH release joint 5-year plan with specific goals for U.S. HGP.
  • Secretary Sullivan establishes NACHGR at NIH.
  • U.S. Human Genome Project formally begins in October.


  • DOE and NIH begin GDB support.


  • Watson resigns as NCHGR Director; Michael M. Gottesman (from NIH NCI) named NCHGR Acting Director.
  • First PCR/STS-based genetic linkage map of entire human genome published.
  • First physical maps presented, for human chromosomes Y and 21.
  • DOE and NIH release data- and resource-sharing guidelines.


  • International IMAGE cDNA Consortium initiated to construct and characterize arrayed cDNA libraries, integrate data, and make clones and data publicly available.
  • Francis S. Collins appointed NCHGR Director.
  • Joint ELSI Working Group's Task Force on Genetic and Insurance Information releases recommendations.
  • U.S. HGP revises 5-year goals through September 1998.
  • Aristides Patrinos named DOE OHER Acting Associate Director when Galas resigns; David Smith heads DOE Human Genome Program.
  • First human genome mega-YAC physical map published.
  • GSDB established.
  • IOM releases HGP ELSI-funded report, "Assessing Genetic Risks."


  • Genetic-mapping 5-year goal achieved 1 year ahead of schedule.
  • PACHG functions absorbed into NACHGR.
  • NLGLP completes partial-digest libraries in lambda and cosmid vectors for each human chromosome.
  • Genetic Privacy Act, first HGP legislative product, proposed to regulate collection, analysis, storage, and use of DNA samples and genetic information obtained from them; endorsed by ELSI Working Group.


  • EEOC guidelines extend ADA employment protection to individuals experiencing discrimination based on genetic information related to illness, disease, or other conditions.
  • HGP achieves goal of high-resolution mouse genetic map.
  • Second-generation mega-YAC physical map covers 75% of human genome.
  • Chromosomes 3, 11, 12, and 22 YAC physical maps published.
  • Chromosome 16 map comprising mega-YACs and high-resolution sequence-ready map of cosmid contigs and mini-YACs published.
  • Metric chromosome 19 map in YACs, BACs, PACs, and cosmids published.
  • Joint ELSI Working Group and NAPBC present recommendations for state and federal policymakers to protect against discrimination by insurance providers.

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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.