Future of Public Health Genetics
Here at the University of Washington's Center for Genomics and Public Health (CGPH), Dr. Karen Edwards notes, "Our knowledge about genetic and genomic influences on disease has grown tremendously in the past decade and the opportunities for translation are emerging. So, although there have been cuts to critical programs at the federal level, we need to find ways to continue and expand the work that our Center has been engaged in for the past 10 years." As a first step, many of the tools and resources developed by the CGPH have been updated and are available on our website.
The Center is also responding to the need to continue providing education for the public health workforce. A recent report on Genetics Education and Training [PDF 2.55MB], from the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society (SACGHS), as well as a new report commissioned by the CDC Office of Public Health Genomics, Priorities for Public Health Genomics: Stakeholder consultation and conference report [PDF 5.17MB], both underscore the need to continue educating the public, health care practitioners, and public health professionals about the contributions of public health genomics. The UW CGPH has been a leader in this area and will continue to provide education for a broad stakeholder group.
There is also a need to evaluate and understand how genomic information can be used to improve the health of populations. To address this priority the Center will continue to provide technical support to state and community health agencies. Such support will enhance applied research that informs the core public health functions and will provide needed data and evaluation on the utility of integrating genomic information into public health practice.