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NHGRI Kicks Off Strategic Planning Initiative

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has launched an initiative to develop a roadmap that will guide its future genomics research efforts, with the goal of unveiling a strategic plan in late 2020.

According to the NHGRI, over the coming years it will work with experts and diverse public communities — through workshops, town halls, social media conversations, satellite meetings at scientific conferences, and other forums — to identify important new areas of genomic research that will expand the field and enable novel applications in human health and disease.

Initial efforts will focus on basic genomics and genomic technologies; genomics of disease; genomic and precision medicine; genomic data science; and society, education, and engagement, the NHGRI said. An emphasis will be put on emerging areas of genomics that are not well-defined, that will benefit from significant investments, and that are not specific to particular diseases or physiological systems. These include genomic technology development, using genomic information in patient care, and the ethical, legal, and social implications of genomics.

"The breadth and depth of genomics across the biomedical research landscape are rapidly expanding," NHGRI Director Eric Green said in a statement. "At this time, it is critical that NHGRI stay laser-focused on pioneering genomics endeavors, rather than casting a wide net that includes areas well-studied and heavily supported by other organizations."

The institute also noted that it expects to de-emphasize areas that are "well-established or are being sufficiently funded by other organizations," such as cancer genomics, microbial genomics, and microbiome research. 

The NHGRI expects to announce a finalized strategic plan in October 2020 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Human Genome Project. Additional information can be found here.