Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by microcephaly, a birdlike face, growth retardation, immunodeficiency, lack of secondary sex characteristics in females, and increased incidence of lymphoid cancers. NBS cells display a phenotype similar to that of cells from ataxia-telangiectasia patients, including chromosomal instability, radiation sensitivity, and aberrant cell-cycle-checkpoint control following exposure to ionizing radiation. A recent study reported genetic linkage of NBS to human chromosome 8q21, with strong linkage disequilibrium detected at marker D8S1811 in eastern European NBS families. We collected a geographically diverse group of NBS families and tested them for linkage, using an expanded panel of markers at 8q21. In this article, we report linkage of NBS to 8q21 in 6/7 of these families, with a maximum LOD score of 3.58. Significant linkage disequilibrium was detected for 8/13 markers tested in the 8q21 region, including D8S1811. In order to further localize the gene for NBS, we generated a radiation-hybrid map of markers at 8q21 and constructed haplotypes based on this map. Examination of disease haplotypes segregating in 11 NBS pedigrees revealed recombination events that place the NBS gene between D8S1757 and D8S270. A common founder haplotype was present on 15/18 disease chromosomes from 9/11 NBS families. Inferred (ancestral) recombination events involving this common haplotype suggest that NBS can be localized further, to an interval flanked by markers D8S273 and D8S88.