Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) is the international organisation of scientists involved in human genetics. HUGO was conceived in 1988, at the first meeting on genome mapping and sequencing at Cold Spring Harbor. From a 42 scientists of 17 countries membership association, HUGO has increased its membership base to over 1,800 members, both established and aspiring of 87 countries after two decades. HUGO has, over the years, played an essential role behind the scenes of the human genome project. With its mission to promote international collaborative effort to study the human genome and the myriad issues raised by knowledge of the genome, HUGO has had noteworthy successes in some of the less glamorous, but nonetheless vital, aspects of the human genome project.
As a truly international organisation, HUGO is entering its 25th year of its history by making an inflection in its direction – seeking the biological meaning of its information content. To this end, HUGO is focusing on the medical implications of genomic knowledge. Moving forward, HUGO is also working to enhance the genomic capabilities in the emerging countries of the world. The excitement and interest in genomic sciences in Asia, Middle East, South America and Africa are palpable and the hope is that these technologies will help in national development and health.