The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is nearing the halfway point of a major strategic planning process, one that aims to publish a “2020 vision for genomics” in late 2020. The new plan will “detail the most exciting opportunities for genomics research and its application to human health and disease at the dawn of the new decade.” In this exclusive interview, Eric D. Green, MD, PhD, the director of the NHGRI, discusses the process and some of the early takeaways from the planning effort.
GEN: What is one of the most challenging aspects of the current round of strategic planning?
Eric Green: We have to engage many more groups. The field of genomics now extends far and wide—from establishing a basic understanding about how the human genome works to determining how genomic variation plays a role in human disease, and extending to how to use genomic information in the practice of medicine. Understanding the most compelling research questions in each of those areas requires engaging with many different groups, including patients. It gets more complicated because we’re touching medicine. The second you touch medicine, you touch patients, and therefore you’re touching society.
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