||Dr. Eric Green has risen from scientific director of NHGRI to director of the institute.
“I’m 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,” said Green, who assumed the post Dec. 1. “I’m also 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.”
Since the early 1990s, 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, he 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 elements in the genome.
Besides 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, Green has led a number of efforts that utilize contemporary strategies for large-scale DNA sequencing to study genomic variations among humans, especially
those contributing to common diseases. He is also 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.
“The Human Genome Project was a tremendous success and the research vision the NHGRI laid out at its completion in 2003 identified the key next steps to capitalize on the new knowledge about the human genome,” Green said. “We are now reaping the bounty of that investment, gaining unprecedented insights about how the genome works in health and illness. My job will be to push the application of genomics into all areas of biomedical research and find effective ways to encourage a wide range of researchers to translate genomic discoveries into medical advances.”
Green’s past contributions to the NIH research community include founding and directing the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center, establishing
the NHGRI Social and Behavioral Research Branch, creating the NIH Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health and helping to launch innovative clinical programs such as the NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program.
An author or co-author of more than 240 scientific
papers, Green is a founding editor of Genome Research and co-editor of the Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics. He was inducted into the American Society for Clinical
Investigation in 2002 and into the American Association of Physicians in 2007. He is married,
has two children and lives in Bethesda.