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NHGRI Publishes Draft of 2020 Strategic Roadmap

NEW YORK – The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has published the initial draft of its 2020 strategic plan, a roadmap that will guide its future genomics research efforts.

In February 2018, the agency announced its intentions to develop the plan and unveil it this year. The NHGRI said it would 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 would expand the field and enable novel applications in human health and disease. Initial efforts would focus on areas such as basic genomics and genomic technologies, genomics of disease, precision medicine, and data science, with special emphasis being put on emerging areas of genomics that aren't well-defined.

As part of the two-year Genomics2020 Strategic Planning Process, the agency is now asking for community input on the draft plan, which it hopes to finalize and publish in October.

In the document, the agency noted that its stakeholders were asked to reflect on what it means to be at the forefront of genomics in order to formulate their strategic input, and that they came to the conclusion that responsibility is a large part of that issue, specifically in four areas: Providing a socially responsible and highly ethical framework for conducting human genomics research; maintaining and improving a robust foundation for genomics research; breaking down barriers in genomics through advances that create new research opportunities; and defining and pursuing genomics research focused on elucidating genome function, understanding disease, and improving health.

The rest of the roadmap document provides a more detailed view of each goal and how they might be accomplished. The NHGRI is also leaving room at the end of the document for "bold predictions for human genomics by 2030," which it plans to fill after it receives community input on the draft document.

The deadline for providing feedback is 5:00 PM EDT on April 26.