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NHGRI Earmarks $7.3M for Human Genome Reference Program Projects

The National Human Genome Research Institute has earmarked nearly $7.3 million to fund a series of research projects over the next several years to advance its recently established Human Genome Reference Program (HGRP), which aims to build a human genome reference that better accounts for genetic diversity than the existing reference.

In early 2018, the NHGRI held a meeting of over 65 basic research, clinical, and bioinformatic scientists who determined that the current version of the human reference does not adequately represent human haplotype variation, that the existing tools to include alternative haplotype information in analyses are not well-used, and that there is an opportunity to significantly improve the human reference by developing it into a pan-genome. As a result, the agency is launching the HGRP to enable an improved human genome reference, and to foster its long-term sustainability and improvement.


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