Public Health Genomics Program Review
1.0 CDC’s Office of Public Health Genomics
Human genomics is the study of all the genes in a person and the interaction of these genes with each other and a person’s environment, behaviors, and lifestyle. Public health genomics is a multidisciplinary field focused on the effective and responsible translation of human genome-based information and applications into health care practices to improve population health. It uses population data on genetic variation and gene-environment interactions to develop evidence-based tools for improving health and preventing disease.
Through the Office of Public Health Genomics (OPHG), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides national and international leadership in public heath genomics, while building partnerships with other federal agencies, state health departments, public health organizations, professional groups, and the private sector.
The vision, mission, and goals of the office focus on the role of public health in translating human genome-based information and applications into population health benefits.
Vision: To use genomic knowledge to improve the lives and health of all people.
Mission: To integrate genomics into public health research, policy, and programs.
Goals: To improve public health interventions for preventing chronic, infectious, environmental, and occupational diseases, through projects focused on population-based genomic research, assessment of the role of family history in determining risk and preventing disease, evaluation of genetic tests, and translation of genome-based information and applications into medical and public health practice.
Evaluation of Genomics Applications for Practice and Prevention
The Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention (EGAPP™) initiative was launched by OPHG in 2004 to establish and test a systematic, evidence-based process for evaluating genetic tests and other applications of genomic technology that are in transition from research to clinical and public health practice.
Family History Public Health Project
OPHG started the Family History Public Health Project in 2002 to increase awareness of family history as a risk factor for common chronic diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, and to promote its use in programs aimed at reducing the burden of these diseases in populations.
Genomics Translation Projects
In 2008, OPHG awarded five new funding projects to state health departments and academic and research institutions to translate human genome-based information and applications into education, surveillance, and policy interventions. These projects will be part of a new CDC collaborative genomics translation initiative called the Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention Network (GAPPNet™) to be launched in 2009.
Human Genome Epidemiology Network
OPHG established the Human Genome Epidemiology Network (HuGENet™) in 1998 to help translate genetic research findings into opportunities for preventive medicine and public health by advancing the synthesis, interpretation, and dissemination of population-based data on human genetic variation in health and disease.
NHANES III Collaborative Genomics Project
In 2002, OPHG formed a multidisciplinary working group with members from across CDC to develop a proposal to measure the prevalence of selected genetic variants of public health significance in a representative sample of the U.S. population and to examine the associations between the selected genetic variants and disease outcomes available in NHANES III data.
Public Health Genomics Capacity Building
Since 2005, OPHG has funded Centers for Genomics and Public Health within schools of public health at the Universities of Michigan and Washington to provide expertise in translating genomic information into useable public health knowledge, to provide technical assistance to state and community public health agencies, and to integrate genomics into programs and practice.
From July 2003 to June 2008, OPHG supported genomics programs in four state health departments (Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, and Utah) to integrate genomics knowledge and tools into chronic disease prevention programs and core public health functions.
Public Health Investigations
OPHG and the National Center for Influenza and Respiratory Diseases developed the Influenza Public Health Genomics Initiative in 2006 to investigate the role of population genetic variation in the epidemiology of influenza morbidity and mortality and the effectiveness of public health interventions.
Seed Funding for Public Health Genomics Research
Since FY2006, OPHG has funded CDC projects that help build the agency’s infrastructure to conduct genomics research and integrate genomics into existing public health research and programs focused on infectious and chronic disease, birth defects, and environmental exposures.