Eric Green on Dangers of Genomic Research
  Eric Green     Biography    
Recorded: 30 May 2003

I think there are considerable dangers. And maybe I’m a little to close to it being in the federal government and being in Washington and being aware of things. But, it’s very, very much on the agenda of our institute to help get appropriate genetic discrimination legislation, as an example which still is percolating through Congress, passed because of the clear recognition that this is a two edged sword. And it would be tragic, it would be absolutely tragic, if any serious incidents develop where society decides that what we did in the genome project was a bad thing. And that clearly can happen. And it would be tragic. The way to protect this is to pass appropriate laws, to develop appropriate policies and so I think the dangers are real. But I think the genome project has been very responsible to try to hit these things head on. There is a lot of work to do. And even though we have been hitting it head on, the proper protections are not in place.

Eric Green received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin (1981) and his M.D. and Ph.D. from Washington University School of Medicine (1987). During his residency training in clinical pathology, he worked Maynard Olson’s lab, where he developed approaches for utilizing yeast artificial chromosomes (YACs) to construct physical maps of DNA. His work also included initiation of a project to construct a complete physical map of human chromosome 7.

In 1992, he became an assistant professor of pathology, genetics, and medicine as well as a co-investigator in the Human Genome Center at Washington University. In 1994, he moved his research laboratory to the intramural program of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health. In November, 2009 he was appointed Director of NHGRI, after serving in the roles of NHGRI scientific director, director of NHGRI Division of Intramural Research, Chief of the Genome Technology Branch and that branches Physical Mapping Section, and Director of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center (NISC). His lab’s current focus is on the application of large-scale DNA to study problems in human genomics, genetics, and biology.

Among the numerous awards Eric Green has received are induction into the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2002 and into the America Association of Physicians in 2007. He is a founding editor of Genome Research, has edited the series, Genome Analysis: A Laboratory Manual, and, since 2005, is co-editor of the Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics.