An initiative is under way to make the center an NIH institute; critics, however, argue that unnecessary redundancy would result.
The National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR), which directs the National Institutes of Health's part in the Human Genome Project (HGP), is poised to become an institute. The necessary steps to change the center's status are already in motion, according to director Francis Collins, who supports the move.

PROS AND CONS: Supporters note progress in NIH’s Human Genome Project under the direction of Francis Collins; critics, however, question some of his actions.
NIH officials say the status change would not make much difference in authority or power. While most centers and institutes may differ substantially in their structure and research sponsorship capabilities, "NCHGR essentially has the same authority as an institute already," comments Diane Wax, NIH associate director for legislative policy and analysis. Becoming an institute "is probably a...

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