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Public Health Genomics Program Review


3.0 New Initiatives and Projects in FY2008


3.1 New Prevention and Translation Research Initiative

In FY2008, OPHG formed a new initiative to support translation research and programs to advance knowledge about the validity, utility, utilization and population health impact of genomic applications and family history for improving health and preventing disease in individuals and populations in the United States.

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, practice, and policy interventions based on evidence reviews and recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and CDC’s EGAPP™ initiative.

  • Family History Education to Improve Genetic Risk Assessment for Cancer,
    Principal Investigator: Maren Scheuner, MD, MPH, FACMG, Sepulveda Research Corporation. The goal of this project is to develop, implement, and evaluate a multifaceted education program for health care providers at the Veterans Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System to improve and increase the use of familial risk assessment in clinical practices for early detection of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.
  • Pharmacogenomics Education Program: Bridging the Gap between Science and Practice, Principal Investigator: Grace Kuo, PharmD, MPH, PhD (cand.), University of California, San Diego. The goal of this project is to develop an education program to increase awareness among pharmacists, pharmacy students, and other health care professionals about the validity and utility of pharmacogenomics tests and the potential benefits and harms of using these tests.
  • Promoting Cancer Genomics Best Practices through Surveillance, Education, and Policy, Principal Investigator: Janice Bach, MS, CGC, Michigan Department of Community Health. The goal of this project is to engage in surveillance/monitoring, health education, and health insurance policy interventions to promote best practices and decrease morbidity and mortality from hereditary cancers in Michigan, particularly among individuals younger than 50 years of age.
  • Oregon Genomics Surveillance Program: Translation of Genomics
    Applications into Health Practice, Principal Investigator: Katherine Bradley, PhD, RN, Oregon Department of Human Resources. The goal of this project is to develop, implement, and evaluate a surveillance program to monitor awareness, knowledge, and use among health care providers and the public of cancer-related genomic tests and family history in Oregon. This project will also evaluate disparities associated with accessing cancer-related genetic testing and counseling.
  • Risk-Benefit Framework for Genetic Tests
    Principal Investigator: David L. Veenstra, PhD, PharmD, University of Washington. The goal of this project is to develop and evaluate a quantitative risk-benefit framework for new genetic tests to educate clinicians, policy makers, and other key decision makers about the potential benefits and harms of genetic testing.

Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention Network (GAPPNet™)
In 2008, OPHG, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and partner organizations started conceptualizing a new collaborative genomics translation initiative called the Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention Network (GAPPNet™). The goal of GAPPNet™ is to accelerate and streamline effective and responsible use of validated genomic knowledge and applications, such as genetic tests, technologies, and family history, into medical and public health practice. Key activities of this network will include:

  • convening individuals and groups conducting genomics research, programs, and policy activities;
  • empowering and sponsoring new research; synthesizing and evaluating research findings; supporting the development of evidence-based recommendations; and
  • developing and disseminating validated genomic information and applications for use in medical and public health practice.

The network will involve partners from across the public health field who are working together to realize the promise of genomics in healthcare and disease prevention. The new OPHG-funded projects mentioned above will also become part of this network.

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3.2 New CDC Seed-Funded Genomics Projects

In 2008, OPHG awarded seed funding for five new CDC projects to integrate genomics into existing public health research and programs. Priority was given to those projects with potential to demonstrate health impact within a two-year period.

  1. Effects of Preconceptional Folic Acid Supplementation on Epigenetic Patterns of DNA Methylation. Investigators: Krista Crider, PhD (CCHP/NCBDDD), Craig Hooper, PhD (CCHP/NCBDDD)
  2. Autism Spectrum Disorder: High-throughput Screening for Potential Candidate Genes and Etiologic Hazardous Agents of Environmental Origin. Investigators: Eugene Demchuk, PhD (ATSDR/DTEM/OD), Michael Schwartz, MD, MS (CCEHIP/NCEH/OTPER), Patricia Ruiz, PhD (ATSDR/DTEM/OD), Hugh Hansen, PhD (ATSDR/DTEM/OD)
  3. Evaluation of the Modifying Effect of Apolipoprotein E (APOE) Genotype on the Association of Prenatal Blood Lead Levels and Auditory Brainstem Response Among Infants Born in Two New York City Hospitals. Investigator: Timothy A. Dignam, MPH (CCEHIP/NCEH)
  4. Genetic Modulation of Worker Susceptibility to Noise-induced Hearing Loss. Investigators: Rickie R. Davis, PhD (CDC/NIOSH/DART) and Mary Ann Butler, PhD (NIOSH/DART)
  5. Integrative Genomic Approach in Prediction of Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD). Investigators: Erin McCanlies, PhD (NIOSH/HELD), Petia Simeonova, MD, PhD (NIOSH/HELD/TMBB) and Berran Yucesoy, PhD (NIOSH/HELD/TMBB)

Descriptions of these projects can be found at:

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