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Public Health Genomics— public health goes personalized?

Published on Feb 1, 2011in European Journal of Public Health2.23
· DOI :10.1093/eurpub/ckq197
Angela Brand17
Estimated H-index: 17
(UM: Maastricht University)
Abstract
High five?—5 years ago, we wrote the first Editorial1 and Viewpoint2 on Public Health Genomics for the European Journal of Public Health . We concluded that ‘public health in the future will be quite different from public health in the past’. Today, 5 years later, have we been right? Where are we now? The highly technology and bioinformatics-driven dynamics of genomics as a ‘moving target’ from the Human Genome Project (HGP) to the Personal Genome Project (PGP) is currently ‘shaking’ public health research, policy making and practice in a very fundamental way. Let us be prepared for rethinking our public health interventions, since we face a time when boundaries of disciplines are crossed and the understanding of diseases is changed as it happened before with the discovery of microscopy and the jump from the macroscopic point of view in anatomy to the microscopic view in cell structure. Firstly, epigenomics plays a crucial role for public health by bridging social and biomedical sciences and being the blueprint for the understanding and measurement of genome–environment interactions and the interplay of all health determinants in disease aetiology. It suggests measurable mechanisms (DNA methylation patterns) whereby environmental factors such as stress, nutrients or a virus influence gene expression (‘from society to cell’). For example, nightshift seems to be not ‘just’ an environmental risk factor, but also appear to have an epigenomic effect in …
  • References (8)
  • Citations (15)
References8
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