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Lander was one of the principal leaders of the international Human Genome Project (HGP) from 1990 to 2003, with his center being the largest contributor to the mapping and sequencing of the human blueprint.

With his colleagues, Lander has developed and applied methods for discovering the molecular basis of rare genetic diseases, common diseases, and cancer. He has done work on genetic variation, population history, evolutionary forces, regulatory elements, long non-coding RNAs, three-dimensional folding of the human genome, and methods to systematically identify the genes essential for biological processes.
 

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