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Straight talk with... Eric Green


Eric Green, the new head of the US National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), has been involved with genomics since the term was first coined in the 1980s. He started at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a postdoc and was a key contributor to the Human Genome Project. Nearly a decade ago, when Green was part of a team that produced one of the first human genome sequences, the potential for genomics-related medical applications seemed limitless. But most disorders have proved to be too complex to benefit from our current understanding of genomics, and some critics have argued that researchers have put too much emphasis on uncovering the genetic underpinnings of diseases. Recent demand for comparative effectiveness research in medicine has further complicated the debate, leading former head of NHGRI Francis Collins to worry that genomic differences could get “lost in the wash.” Erica Westly spoke with Green about where he sees the genomics field heading and what role he thinks the NHGRI should have in the American health care system.

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Westly, E. Straight talk with... Eric Green. Nat Med 16, 16–17 (2010).

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