A symposium to mark the international Human Genome Project (HGP) and Chinese scientists’ participation in 1 percent of the project was held by the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), CAS’s Beijing Institute of Genomics/China National Center for Bioinformation, and Chinese genomics company BGI on June 26.

A group of officials and experts reviewed the history of the HGP over the past 21 years and exchanged ideas on the applications of the research, as well as the development of life sciences.

The HGP, which was launched in October 1990 and dubbed “a moonshot for life science”, produced the first draft of the human genetic code on June 26, 2000 and published it in February 2001. In 1994, the Chinese Human Genome Project (CHGP) was initiated by scientists including Tan Jiazhen, Wu Min, Qiang Boqin, Chen Zhu, Shen Yan and Yang Huanming. CAS’s IGDB set up the Human Genome Center in August 1998. In October of that year, the Chinese National Human Genome Center was approved to launch sub-centers in Shanghai and Beijing almost at the same time.

In July 1999, the human genome research center of CAS’s IGDB applied to join the international HGP Consortium on behalf of China, and was approved to become its sixth nation to participate in the project, following the United States, the UK, Japan, Germany and France.

In June 2000, the consortium announced the completion of the draft human genome sequence. In February 2001, the consortium published a paper in the scientific journal Nature, releasing the map of human DNA. In April 2003, the six members of the consortium jointly announced the completion of the HGP.

CAS academician Chen Zhu said in his congratulatory letter that the completion of the HGP is a milestone event in the history of human science, which has brought revolutionary changes to human understanding of diseases and species evolution. China’s participation in the project is of great significance and highlights the outstanding contributions made by Chinese scientists to human science, he added.

Since the release of the draft human genome sequence 21 years ago, the research based on it has made a spurt of progress, which not only promotes the development of biology and biomedicine but also helps facilitate multidisciplinary cooperation among genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology and information science.

Source: Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB),

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Hot Issue
Research Progress
International Cooperation
Science Story
News in Brief