Public Lecture

Public Lecture: The Human Genomics Landscape a Decade After the Human Genome Project

Presented by: Eric D. Green, MD, PhD
Director, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, and Acting NIH Associate Director for Data Science
April 23, 2013 at the Friday Center, Chapel Hill


The Human Genome Project’s generation of a reference human genome sequence was a landmark scientific achievement of historic significance. It also signified a critical transition for the field of genomics, as the new foundation of genomic knowledge started to be used in powerful ways by researchers and clinicians to tackle increasingly complex problems in biomedicine. To exploit the opportunities provided by the human genome sequence and to ensure the productive growth of genomics as one of the most vital biomedical disciplines of the 21st century, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is pursuing a broad vision for genomics research beyond the Human Genome Project. This vision includes using genomic data, technologies, and insights to acquire a deeper understanding of genome function and biology as well as to uncover the genetic basis of human disease. Some of the most profound advances are being catalyzed by revolutionary new DNA sequencing technologies; these methods are producing prodigious amounts of DNA sequence data as part of studies aiming to elucidate the complexities of genome function and to unravel the genetic basis of rare and complex diseases. Together, these developments are ushering in the era of genomic medicine.

Dr. Eric Green, director of the NIH National Human Genome Research Institute, will discuss the challenges of harnessing genomic data to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes and the way forward in realizing the dream of genomic data-driven healthcare.


Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., is Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a position he has held since late 2009. NHGRI is the largest organization in the world solely dedicated to genomics research. In January 2013, Dr. Green took on the additional role of Acting Associate Director for Data Science, a new NIH-wide strategic initiative that aims to capitalize on the exponential growth of biomedical research data. Previously, he served as the NHGRI Scientific Director (2002-2009), Chief of the NHGRI Genome Technology Branch (1996-2009), and Director of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center (1997-2009).

While directing an independent research program for almost two decades, Dr. Green was at the forefront of efforts to map, sequence, and understand eukaryotic genomes, including significant, start-to-finish involvement in the Human Genome Project. Among his many honors, Dr. Green was inducted into the Association of American Physicians in 2007, and received the Cotlove Award from the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists in 2011 and the Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship Award from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry in 2012.

As Director of NHGRI, Dr. Green is responsible for providing overall leadership of the Institute’s research portfolio and other initiatives; this requires significant coordination with other NIH components and funding agencies. Most recently, Dr. Green led NHGRI to the completion of a strategic planning process that yielded a new vision for the future of genomics research, entitled “Charting a course for genomic medicine from base pairs to bedside” (Nature, 470:204-213. 2011.).

Sponsors: RENCI, UNC School of Medicine and the National Consortium for Data Science