Development of new analytical methods, software tools and a robust computational infrastructure will be essential. Researchers need these tools for accessing, analyzing, integrating and storing the mountains of complex genomic data that will be gathered from thousands of individuals, according to the report.
With this ever-expanding body of knowledge, scientists will likely identify the genetic basis of most single-gene disorders in the next decade, the plan asserts. Furthermore, molecular pathways that are implicated in single-gene disorders may hold important clues for the diagnosis and treatment of common disease, the plan says.
The plan anticipates the increasingly important role of multi-disciplinary and international teams for collaboratively producing and analyzing comprehensive sets of data about a condition. Rapid data release for immediate research applications, which has been essential to genomic research, will continue to be fundamental for the field's success, according to the plan.
Beyond technology, educational efforts will be critical to making genomic medicine practical for both clinicians and the public, according to the plan. Health care providers must be trained to interpret genomic information and to use it in counseling patients. Health consumers will need to familiarize themselves with genomic medicine so they can understand their personal risks, participate in clinical decisions, make the best use of new therapeutics and, if they so choose, modify their behaviors in response to genome-based health information. Legislators and policymakers must craft policies that continue to promote the confidentiality of participation in genomics research. Other policies will be needed to protect individual privacy and access to health coverage, and to encourage investment in genomic health technologies through intellectual property incentives.
Genomic medicine will only reach its full pot
|Contact: Jeannine Mjoseth|
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute