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NIH Appoints Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D. to be Director of The National Human Genome Research Institute

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After an extensive national search, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has announced the appointment of Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., to be director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the 27 institutes and centers that comprise NIH. It is the first time an institute director has risen to lead the entire NIH and subsequently picked his own successor.

Dr. Green is currently the NHGRI scientific director and director of the NHGRI Division of Intramural Research; he will become NHGRI director on Dec. 1. Dr. Collins led NHGRI from April 1993 until August 2008. Alan Guttmacher, M.D., NHGRI's deputy director, has served as acting NHGRI director since Dr. Collins's departure in August 2008.

In addition to directing NISC and the NHGRI intramural research program, Dr. Green has been chief of the Genome Technology Branch and head of that Branch's Physical Mapping Section. Since the early 1990s, Dr. Green's research program has been at the forefront of efforts to map, sequence, and understand complex genomes. His work included significant, start-to-finish involvement in the Human Genome Project.

More recently, Dr. Green established a program in comparative genomics that involves the generation and analyses of sequences from targeted genomic regions in evolutionarily diverse species. The resulting data have provided new insights about vertebrate genome organization and evolution, and revealed how conserved sequences can be used to identify important functional genomic elements.

"I am deeply honored to be selected as the NHGRI director at a time when the field has myriad exciting opportunities to advance numerous areas of biomedicine and to revolutionize medical care," Dr. Green said. "I am very fortunate to be given the opportunity to lead NHGRI while its previous director leads all of NIH -- and in an Administration that has tremendous support and appreciation for scientific research."

In addition to basic genomics research, his laboratory also investigates genetic contributions to human illness. His group has identified several human disease-related genes, including those implicated in certain forms of hereditary deafness, vascular disease, and inherited peripheral neuropathy.

Most recently, Dr. Green is leading a number of efforts that utilize contemporary strategies for large-scale DNA sequencing to study genomic variation among humans, especially those contributing to common diseases, and is involved in an NIH-based consortium that aims to understand the microbial communities that exist on human skin and how they contribute to health and disease.

Dr. Green has received numerous awards, including induction into the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2002 and into the America Association of Physicians in 2007. He is an author on more than 240 scientific papers, is a founding editor of "Genome Research" in 1995, edited a series called "Genome Analysis: A Laboratory Manual," and, since 2005, is co-editor of the "Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics".