The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has appointed Neil Hanchard, M.D., Ph.D., as a clinical investigator within the Medical Genomics and Metabolic Genetics Branch (MGMGB) in the NHGRI Division of Intramural Research. Dr. Hanchard will head the Childhood Complex Disease Genomics Section within the MGMGB.
“We are delighted to welcome Neil Hanchard to the NHGRI Intramural Research Program,” said Dan Kastner, M.D., Ph.D., NHGRI”s scientific director. “Neil and his team will bring new energy and academic vigor to studies of the genomics of African ancestral populations, health disparities in underrepresented populations and precision medicine. Neil is an intellectual giant who will bring his outstanding scientific track record to the institute.”
Dr. Hanchard joins the institute as a physician-scientist with demonstrated expertise in molecular and human genetics. As head of the Childhood Complex Disease Genomics Section, Dr. Hanchard will lead efforts to use genomic and genetic tools to understand complex pediatric diseases and traits in diverse populations. His efforts will integrate laboratory-based and clinical methods to study several pediatric diseases, including sickle cell disease, severe childhood malnutrition, pediatric HIV in Africa and childhood-onset essential hypertension.
Dr. Hanchard’s program aims to understand the molecular mechanisms that lead to the formation of these diseases and to catalog related genes, biological pathways and mechanisms related to each disease. Eventually, the outcome of these studies promise to help researchers develop practical therapeutic strategies.
“The highly collegial and integrated NHGRI environment is the perfect place for further exploration of these disorders,” said Dr. Hanchard. “The studies planned by my research group have the potential to one day provide the kind of clinical and therapeutic insights that will hopefully change the courses of these diseases for the better — bedside to bench and back.”
The highly collegial and integrated NHGRI environment is the perfect place for further exploration of these disorders. The studies planned by my research group have the potential to one day provide the kind of clinical and therapeutic insights that will hopefully change the courses of these diseases for the better — bedside to bench and back.
Dr. Hanchard received his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.D. equivalent) degree with honors in 1999 from the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. He was then awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University. In 2004, Dr. Hanchard received a doctorate degree in clinical medicine and human genetics. Thereafter, he completed clinical training in pediatric and adolescent medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and in medical genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Dr. Hanchard is a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics. He is also a fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics and recently completed a three-year tenure on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Human Genetics. Before joining NHGRI, Dr. Hanchard was a tenured associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Hanchard has coauthored over 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts, including papers in the American Journal of Human Genetics and the British Journal of Hematology, and additional publications in Science, Nature, Nature Communications and the New England Journal of Medicine.