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Eric Green Tapped to Lead NHGRI

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Eric Green will take over the top post at the National Human Genome Research Institute, filling the role formerly held by National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins and currently by Acting Director Alan Guttmacher.

Green, who currently is scientific director at NHGRI and director of the Division of Intramural Research, will take the helm at the institute on Dec. 1.

Collins said in a statement today that Green is "the perfect choice" to lead the agency, which is expected to have a 2010 budget of $510 million, excluding its funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"He grew up professionally with the genome era and has been on the cutting edge of genomics research for more than two decades," Collins added. In his current role, Collins said, "Green has overseen spectacular growth and diversification of the Institute's intramural research program."

"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," 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."

During his decade directing the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center, Green established the Social and Behavioral Research Branch and the Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health, and he helped launch the Undiagnosed Diseases Program. He also has been chief of the Genome Technology Branch and the Branch's Physical Mapping Section, and he has been involved in efforts to map, sequence, and understand complex genomes.

Green was involved in the Human Genome Project "from start-to-finish", and he started a program in comparative genomics that involves generation and analyses of sequences from targeted regions of the genomes of diverse species, NIH said.

"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 and to begin building a better foundation for using genetics to improve human health," Green said.

"My job going forward is to push the application of genomics into all areas of biomedical research, beyond NHGRI's boundaries, and find effective ways to collaborate with a wide range of researchers to translate genomic discoveries into medical advances," he added.

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