The Exhibit

About the Exhibit

About the Exhibit

The Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code’s exhibition was a partnership between the National Human Genome Research Institute and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.  The exhibition, which opened in June 2013 at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, celebrated an epic anniversary for genomics, marking 60 years since Watson and Crick’s first 1953 report of the DNA double-helix and 10 years since the 2003 completion of the Human Genome Project.

 “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code” builds on the strengths of both institutions to recognize the accomplishments of the past, showcase the future, and highlight the increasing relevance of genomics in people’s lives.

The exhibit was constructed in a manner that once it had completed its opening stay at the National Museum of Natural History, it could easily be disassembled and transported to museums and science centers across North America. From 2014-2020, the exhibition traveled to 12 states and returned to the National Museum of Natural History where it was open from October 21, 2021 through November 2022.


Take a Virtual Tour

Bring the Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code exhibition into your home and classroom.  Take a virtual tour of the exhibition and explore the various exhibition design elements and the high-tech environment of the entire 4,400-square-foot exhibition.

Launch Tour

Virtual Tour

DIY Exhibit

DIY Exhibit

Do-It-Yourself exhibits provide a unique opportunity to learn about and share National Museum of Natural History exhibitions with your community. Genomics research is revolutionizing how we treat disease. It offers a fresh perspective on human evolution and reveals our connections to all life on Earth. This free, print-on-demand exhibit consists of graphic panels, interactive media and a community programming toolkit. It can be adapted to a variety of venues, including community centers, libraries, coffee shops, hospitals, transit hubs, museums, and science centers.

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store


Exhibit Sponsors

This exhibit was made possible in part by financial support secured by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.

Life Technologies Foundation logo

Presenting Sponsors

  • Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.
  • The Brin Wojcicki Foundation
  • Celgene Corporation
  • Pacific Biosciences and Mike & Beth Hunkapiller
Johnson + Johnson logo

Supporting Sponsors

  • 23andMe, Inc
  • Affymetrix
  • American Association for Clinical Chemistry and The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation
  • American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics
Foundation for the National Institutes of Health logo


  • The Fodor Family Trust
  • Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
  • Genentech
  • New England Biolabs
  • Promega Corporation
  • Yonder Biology x Max Nanis


Explore Genomic Resources

Explore Genomic Resources

Our free resource library is packed full of lesson plans, videos, interactive games and other educational content from the National Human Genome Research Institute and our partners.

See the Library
Genómica: conocimientos

Read Genomics: Insights

Read articles written by promising researchers about the science they're doing in the lab to inform, educate, and raise awareness about genetics and genomics.

See Insights