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Hanson Appointed to Direct NICHD Branch

"The opportunities for progress in mental retardation research have never been better," said Dr. James Hanson, new director of NICHD's Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Branch. Advances in genetics and the development of new molecular tools promise to make great inroads into the causes, treatment and prevention of mental retardation and developmental disabilities. Similarly, advances in behavioral and patient-oriented research can help to ensure that these new advances can be used by patients and their families in their everyday lives. Before coming to NICHD, Hanson was acting chief of the Clinical and Genetic Epidemiology Research Branch, NCI. In his new position, he looks to the recent sequencing of the human genome to provide important tools to understand how genetic variation contributes to human development, health and disability. He also seeks to exploit advances in imaging, environmental sciences, new computer-based advances in the collection and analysis of scientific data, and communication technologies to help in the treatment and prevention of mental retardation and developmental disabilities.


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