James Wyngaarden on Dangers of Genomic Research
  James Wyngaarden     Biography    
Recorded: 18 Aug 2003

Well, I mentioned the dangers that were addressed by the ethical, legal, social implications emphasis of the genome project, and they still exist. And there still is concern that personal genetic information might be used against individuals for employment or insurance purposes or whatever. But there are also advantages of that information if used properly. So I’m not overly concerned about it myself.

James B. Wyngaarden is a medical doctor, biochemist and medical science advisor. He served as director of the National Institutes of Health, associate director for Life Sciences in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, and as director of the Human Genome Organization. Wyngaarden is currently part of the Washington Advisory Group, LLC and director of four biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies. Wyngaarden is also co-author of the textbook The Metabolic Basis of Inherited Disease.

He researches the regulation of purine biosynthesis, the production of uric acid and he helped initiate the use of allopurinol, a drug developed as an anticancer agent and now used as a treatment for gout. While serving as director of the National Institutes of Heath, he enlisted the help of Dr. Watson in 1988 to begin the Human Genome Project. Jim obliged and joined the NIH as the associate director for Human Genome Research, while still acting as director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.