NOTE: Letter was faxed to McKusick by Cahill's secretary.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
3 (159,074 Bytes)
1989-10-06 (October 6, 1989)
Hall, Ralph M.
United States House of Representatives. Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Cahill, George F. Jr
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Original Repository: Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives. Victor Almon McKusick Collection
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Human Genome Project
Medical Genetics, Molecular Biology, and the Human Genome Project, 1980-2008
October 6, 1989
Dear Dr. Cahill:
The Subcommittee on International Scientific Cooperation of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has scheduled
a hearing on Thursday, October 19, 1989 to review plans for international cooperation in mapping the Human Genome. I am pleased
to invite you to testify at the October 19th hearing, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 2325 of the Rayburn House Office
The Subcommittee hearing will examine several areas with regard to the Human Genome mapping project. These will include: 1)
the status of international efforts to map the Human Genome, 2) the appropriate level of international involvement and financial
"burden-sharing" in the mapping effort, and 3) the implications of international cooperation on the U.S. scientific
and industrial competitiveness.
Testimony from the hearing will be used to assess the need for new policies to promote international cooperation in mapping
the Human Genome, while ensuring the ability of U.S. industry to compete effectively in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceutical
development and equipment manufacture.
In this regard, we would ask that, during your testimony, you address the following questions:
1. What are the potential benefits and costs of the Human Genome mapping project? What are the potential non-human spinoffs
of the technique and technology being developed?
2. How long will it take to sequence the Human Genome with international cooperation?, without international cooperation?
Where is international cooperation essential to successfully map the Human Genome?
3. What is the mission and objectives of the Human Genome Organization (HUGO) regarding international cooperation? What is
the status of HUGO's efforts? Is there a timetable for achieving HUGO's objectives?
4. Who are the current members of HUGO? How is the HUGO organization concept being received by foreign countries? What is
the current level of funding?
5. How will HUGO assure that all countries involved will assume a fair share of the basic research underlying the Genome mapping
effort (i.e. will the U.S. pay for the entire effort, while the rest of the world benefits?)
6. How will HUGO address competitive concerns such as sequencing technology, equal access to (foreign) data and intellectual
property protection being addressed? Will there be any data restrictions by "foreign" or U.S. researchers? Will these
restrictions impact international cooperation?
7. What current private sector resources are being directed toward the Genome mapping effort? Are these resources adequate?
8. What are the social and ethical issues raised by mapping the Human Genome? How will HUGO address these issues at an international
9. How is HUGO coordinating its efforts with the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, foreign countries?
10. Do you see any need for legislation aimed at increasing international cooperation, ensuring U.S. competitiveness, or addressing
We ask that your oral testimony be limited to approximately ten to fifteen minutes to ensure that Members have sufficient
time for questions following presentation of the statements. Your written statement may be of any length and will be included
in its entirety in the published hearing record. You also may be asked during the hearing to respond to additional written
questions for inclusion in the record.
Please be advised that under Committee rules, the proceedings of the hearing will be printed strictly in verbatim form. The
testimony will be published as delivered: only typographical and transcriptional errors will be edited in the transcript.
In preparation for the hearing, thirty copies of your prepared statement should be forwarded to the Subcommittee on International
Scientific Cooperation, Room 822, House Annex #1, Washington, D.C. 20515, at least 48 hours before the hearing. In addition,
fifty copies should be delivered to Room 2325 at least thirty minutes before the hearing for distribution to the public and
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Bob Palmer or Chuck McElyea, at (202) 226-3636.
Ralph M. Hall
Subcommittee on International Scientific Cooperation