Happy Holidays! Celebrating the Arrival of 2018 and 20 Years of Public Health Genomics!

Posted on by Scott Bowen and Muin J. Khoury, Office of Public Health Genomics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

Happy New Year from the Office of Public Health Genomics with ballons and DNAThis December, we are especially excited as we anticipate the dawning of a bright new year. The ebbing of 2017 marks the end of, not just another year, but two decades of public health genomics. Recently we were provided two valuable opportunities to place a capstone on this important milestone. Last month, at the American Public Health Association (APHA) 2017 Annual Meeting in Atlanta we presented “Public Health Genomics at CDC – 20 Years in the Making.” The presentation was part of a session sponsored by the APHA Genomics Forum. The discussions and the larger conference event were greatly empowering as we talked with hundreds of people who are now working in, have been influenced by, or are interesting in learning more about genomics. A copy of this presentation is available on our website. The wide array of topics presented at the APHA Annual Meeting by people from all over the United States and the world, uniquely demonstrated how far public health genomics has come.

On December 14, 2017, a CDC article: “From Public Health Genomics to Precision Public Health: a 20-year journey” was published in Genetics in Medicine which details many of the significant accomplishments of those working in this still burgeoning field. The journey was long and challenging, but ultimately, much progress has been made.  Some important yearly accomplishments from our office are shown on our website.

Finally, we highlight our top 10 most popular public health genomics web page hits for 2017! These topics have been important over the years but more so in 2017.

#10: If you build it will they come? The urgent need for implementation science in genomic medicine

#9: The need for a next-generation public health response to rare diseases

#8: Can we use genetic screening of healthy populations to save lives and prevent disease? Join the conversation

#7: Direct to consumer genetic testing: Think before you spit, 2017 edition!

#6: Genomic testing: Genetic tests have been developed for thousands of diseases

#5: Behavior, environment, and genetic factors all have a role in causing people to be overweight and obese

#4: Genetic counseling: Specially-trained professionals help people learn about genetic conditions

#3: Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. What women need to know

#2: Family Health History: Knowing and acting on your family health history is an important way to protect your health

#1: The Public Health Genomics Knowledge Base: A continuously updated, searchable database of genomics and health impact information

As we survey the last two decades, those working in public health genomics have a lot to be proud of. In 1997, genomics was not ready for implementation, but today there is much that we can do to save lives. Whole genome sequencing, large cohort studies, other omics/data advances, and falling costs continue to herald the arrival of precision medicine and precision public health. If we remain vigilant to ensure that genomics science and technology can benefit everyone, the outlook for the future is far brighter still.

Posted on by Scott Bowen and Muin J. Khoury, Office of Public Health Genomics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

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Page last reviewed: January 11, 2018
Page last updated: January 11, 2018