Genomics and public health

Stefania Boccia, Ron Zimmern

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter addresses the crucial question of how genomics knowledge and technologies can currently be integrated into public health practice. There has been an astonishing rate of technological advance in genomic science over the last decade since the public health genomics movement was first conceived in the 1990s, though the arrival of genomics into health-care practice represents only the beginning of the translational highway. For some, this exponential growth in knowledge promises a future in which health care is focused much more effectively at the level of the individual. In this chapter, we examine the emerging areas where public health and genomics intersect, the criteria for population screening programmes involving genomic knowledge, and the use of genomics for evidence-based approaches to forecast and manage disease prevention and prognosis, as well as health intervention outcomes. We discuss challenges and barriers for implementing evidence-based genomic applications in the public health practice. We provide a three-tiered approach to group public health genomics applications based on their readiness for practice. We conclude that coordinated efforts are essential to guide development in genomic medicine, towards an impact on population health.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Systematic Review of Key Issues in Public Health
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783319136202, 9783319136196
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Genetic tests
  • Genomic medicine
  • Genomic profiling
  • Genomic tests
  • Human genome project
  • Infectious diseases
  • Personalized medicine
  • Public health genomics
  • Translational research
  • Vaccinomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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