“In the first ten years, the CDC National Office [of] Public Health Genomics has built an important foundation, fostering worldwide understanding & application of scientific discoveries in genomics to improve the public’s health.”
- Michael Leavitt, Secretary, Deparment of Health and Human Services[PDF 136KB]
This year marks the 10th anniversary of public health genomics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On January 23, the CDC hosted a meeting to highlight progress and achievements in genomics and to discuss future directions.
Public health genomics is a multidisciplinary field of science and practice that assesses the impact of human genes, and their interaction with behavioral factors and environmental exposures on health and disease. It focuses on the effective and responsible translation of genomic-based knowledge and technologies into health care practices to improve population health.
Through partnerships and collaborations, CDC integrates genomics into public health research, programs, and policy to help improve interventions designed to prevent and control chronic, infectious, environmental, and occupational diseases. CDC efforts focus on conducting population-based genomic research, assessing the role of family health history in disease risk and prevention, supporting a systematic process for evaluating genetic tests, and strengthening capacity for public health genomics in disease prevention programs.
CDC’s public health genomics 10th anniversary event convened scientists and professionals from across CDC and partners from other federal agencies, state health departments, academic and research institutions, and nonprofit organizations. On behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Richard Campanelli, presented the agency’s Personalized Medicine Initiative, which aims to enhance health care in the United States. by providing effective clinical decision support to healthcare providers so they can provide the best care for their patients. Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, director of CDC, in her welcoming remarks stated, “The landscape of health in this country is changing dramatically and genomics is one of the most critical areas in science and health that promises to have a profound impact on public health practice in the future.”
National and international public health and genomics experts presented on emerging topics, including genome-wide association, human genome epidemiology, family history, genetic testing, and genomics translation research. A scientific poster session showcased a broad scope of more than 70 genomics projects currently being done or recently completed by CDC programs and partners, as well as other organizations.
Looking forward to the next decade, Dr. Muin J. Khoury[PDF 2.64MB], director of the CDC’s Office of Public Health Genomics stated, “Translating the knowledge we are gaining from gene discoveries into practical clinical and public health applications will be critical for realizing the potential of personalized health care and improving the health of the nation.”
Read more in the decade report, 10 Years of Public Health Genomics at CDC 1997-2007.