The Road Less Traveled: Genomic Epidemiology Capacity in State Public Health ProgramsPosted on by
- First, pathogen genomics is the most fully realized application of genomics in public health practice. Since 2014, CDC’s Advanced Molecular Detection Program has promoted the integration of pathogen genetic sequencing and bioinformatics with traditional epidemiology in infectious disease control. Pathogen genomics helps public health programs recognize and stop outbreaks earlier, preventing illness and saving lives.
- Second, the field of cancer genomics is yielding an increasing number of evidence-based applications for prevention and treatment. Epidemiology has a key role in assessing utilization, outcomes and disparities in cancer genetic tests and services. Several state public health departments have begun monitoring the population burden of hereditary cancers and improving and evaluating access to care and services. State-based cancer registrieswill soon be able to supplement information on tumor anatomic site and stage at diagnosis with molecular classification based on clinical tumor genome sequencing and expression profiles (e.g. gene expression profiling in breast cancer).
- In addition, genomics is becoming increasingly relevant to many areas of maternal and child health—including enhanced newborn screening, as well as diagnosis of rare diseases, treatment of acutely ill newborns and infants, prenatal testing, and management of birth defects and developmental disabilities. Epidemiologic capacity will be increasingly needed to apply genomic information into surveillance and assessment of clinical and social services for these conditions.
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