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Genomics in Public and Population Health 

Genomics in Public and Population Health
Genomics in Public and Population Health

Anastasia L. Wise

and Teri A. Manolio

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date: 15 January 2021

Public health seeks to improve health at a population level through interventions that increase the net health benefit to the population as a whole. Advances in genomics knowledge and technologies can add to this endeavor, but also pose a challenge when faced with the conflicting public health (population) and genomic medicine (individual) perspectives. Combining the fields of genomic, population, and social sciences, population genomics or public health genomics looks at the promotion of health and prevention of disease using genomic knowledge through the lens of populations rather than individuals. In this chapter we will survey the three major disciplines contributing to population genomics (genomic, population, and social sciences) and explore two cross cutting issues, global health and population versus individual health, using specific examples from diseases such as asthma, colon cancer, and cystic fibrosis. Although the fields of population genomics and genomic medicine look to prevent or treat disease through different perspectives, they can act complementarily to enhance overall health outcomes for both individuals and populations at large.

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