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Human Genome News, January 1998; 9:(1-2)

HuGEM to Educate Health Professionals in Genetics

In a national survey of 329 health professionals who provide services to people with genetic disorders in university-affiliated programs across the country, investigators found that almost 70% reported having no course work in human genetics. The survey, conducted during the Human Genome Education Model (HuGEM) Project, targeted health professionals who furnish preventive, diagnostic, referral, advocacy, therapeutic, educational, or counseling services.

A grant from the NIH National Human Genome Research Institute will allow members of the HuGEM project team to provide educational training and resources to selected health professionals through their national organizations. The 3-year grant was made to Georgetown University and the Alliance of Genetic Support Groups. HuGEM II's goal is to increase knowledge of and sensitivity to human genetics; the Human Genome Project; and the ethical, legal, and social issues of genetic testing and research.

"We are in a unique position to make a major step toward educating health professionals to enter the genetic age of the 21st century," said Virginia Lapham (Georgetown University Medical Center), principal investigator of the project. "We hope the result is that healthcare professionals will be better able to serve individuals and families faced with the decisions, miracles, and disappointments of genetic testing, diagnoses, treatments, and promises of cures."

The project will focus on health professionals (other than physicians, nurses, and physician assistants) who traditionally serve persons with genetic conditions in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, family agencies, and other health settings. This group will include dieticians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, social workers, and speech and hearing pathologists. [Contact: E. Virginia Lapham (202/687-8245, laphamv@gunet.georgetown.edu)]

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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.