The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) was established in 1989 by a group of the world's leading genome scientists to promote international collaboration within the project. HUGO carries out a complex coordinating role within the Human Genome Project. HUGO activities range from support of data collation for constructing genetic and physical maps of the human genome to the organization of workshops to promote the consideration of a wide range of ethical, legal, social and intellectual property issues. HUGO fosters the exchange of data and biomaterials, encourages the spreading and sharing of technologies, provides information and advice on aspects of human genome programs and serves as a coordinating agency for building relationships between various governmental funding agencies and the genome community. HUGO provides an interface between the Human Genome Project and the many groups and organizations interested or involved in the human genome initiative.
HUGO currently has over 1000 members representing over 50 countries. HUGO maintains three regional offices, HUGO Americas, HUGO Europe and HUGO Pacific, which carry out the administrative duties of the organization.