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Media Release
For Immediate Release

Beijing, 9 December — The Human Variome Project Beijing Meeting was officially opened this morning at a ceremony involving many local dignitaries including former Ministers of Health and Science. The Human Variome Project Beijing Meeting is a joint meeting of the international Human Variome Project Consortium and the Human Variome Project Chinese Node. It will focus on increasing opportunities for collaboration between China and the international Human Variome Project, which is run out of Melbourne, Australia.

The meeting was addressed by Mr David Abraham, Chairman of the Board, Professor Xitao Li, Human Variome Project Chinese Node Director, Professor Richard Cotton, Human Variome Project Scientific Director, Mr Ramasamy Jayakumar, Programme Specialist at UNESCO, and, via video message, Professor Peter Doherty, Nobel Laureate and 1997 Australian of the Year. A welcome message from the Australian Foreign Minister, the Honourable Kevin Rudd, was also read.

Earlier this year, the Chinese Government committed US$300 million to meeting the goals of the Human Variome Project. This money will be spent to improve clinical genetics services in China and ensure that complete information on mutations in 5,000 genes from around the world is made freely and openly available. This meeting is the first step in this process that will take almost 10 years to complete.

The Human Variome Project Beijing Meeting will be a forum where with the support of China, the necessary international collaborations can be discussed, debated and formalised. It will continue to address the complex issues of how collaborative projects can be initiated and developed to produce positive clinical and research outcomes and allow the work to start. Meeting participants are drawn from the most prominent and representative experts in each of the relevant disciplines worldwide. The Human Variome Project Beijing Meeting aims to take the Project to the next level of international collaboration by specifically:

  • Cementing & establishing collaborative relationships with relevant international bodies
  • Introducing of the Chinese Node Roadmap
  • Discussing the key issues involved in developing an HVP Country Node including:
    • Data models for country collection
    • Software platforms
    • Ethics
    • Issues faced by low/middle income countries
  • Discussing key issues in establishment with the support of China of Gene/Disease specific databases including:
    • Pathogenicity assignment
    • Curation
  • Facilitating the development of guidelines, protocols and support to assist the establishment and maintenance of gene/disease specific databases
  • Developing a plan for the selection of genes and diseases for which databases are to be established and/or assisted
  • Establishing procedures for the alignment of existing national and gene/disease specific databases

Directly following the meeting there will be a one day inaugural meeting of the International Confederation of Countries Advisory Council, this will be attended by the representatives of the HVP Country Nodes.


About the Human Variome Project

The Human Variome Project is an international consortium of clinicians, scientists and pathologists who are committed to the free and open sharing of information on genetic variations and their effect.

The Human Variome Project acts as an umbrella organisation across multiple countries, institutions and initiatives. It works to encourage communication and collaboration around it central vision—a reduction in the burden of genetic disease.

The Human Variome Project has three roles: to establish and maintain the standards, systems and infrastructure necessary for the worldwide collection, curation and sharing of information across the genome; to be a vehicle for collaboration on research, and policy; and to educate the field and the public about the prevalence and impact of genetic disease and the important role the sharing of information has in combating it.

Media Contact:
Timothy D. Smith
+61 (0)419 357 589


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