Public Health Genomics

Interesting sites to check out

Yesterday, the blog received a comment from a site that might be of interest to those in

public health genomics and genetically modified organisms:

new website on public health with section on GMOs

I have recently developed a website covering public health and social justice, which can be found at http://www.phsj.org or at http://www.publichealthandsocialjustice.org. The website covers the social, economic, environmental, human rights, and cultural contributors to health and disease. The site contains articles, slide shows, syllabi, and other documents. References for most of the information contained in the slide shows can be found in the accompanying articles. Presentations will be updated a few times per year.

| | | read more | mgodfrey39's blog

Racial profiling and prescription drugs

I've been missing commercials on t.v. lately because I now have a DVR and can pause during the first commercial on a program, walk off, return later and watch the rest of the program, skipping over commercials. So, until last night, I hadn't seen the ad targeting black Americans with high blood pressure.

This commercial is an insult to black Americans! First, it states that people in this category (how is this defined, anyway?) are twice as likely to have a stroke as people not in this category. Then, it promises a treatment that will solve the problem.

Are we back to "any drop of Negro = Negro"? Is the ad saying, "if you're white, you don't need to listen to this commercial"? Or, is it more sinister?

| | read more | mgodfrey39's blog

So what is genomics, anyway?

My daughter--who's in Public Health now--asked me to define genomics.I told her that genomics was the study of genetic inheritance in populations, with a specific focus on disease conditions thought to have a major genetic component.

"So," says my daughter, "how does that differ from epidemiology? or population genetics?"

I blundered through, as usual, and then looked it up online. Although I started with Wikipedia, I finally chose the definition from the CDC national office of public health genomics as an appropriate one for her question:

| | read more | mgodfrey39's blog

Genomics Testing

A brief blurb from a NY Times article online that I came across. I thought this was quite relevant to some of our lectures in the 2007 Summer Public Health Institute.

“Yet UnitedHealthcare is trying a risk-sharing experiment with Genomic Health, a company that sells a $3,460 genetic test meant to help determine whether a woman with early-stage breast cancer would benefit from chemotherapy.
The insurer has agreed to pay for the test for 18 months while it and Genomic Health monitor the results. If too many women are still receiving chemotherapy even if the test suggests they do not need it, Dr. Newcomer said, UnitedHealthcare will seek to negotiate a lower price on the ground that the test is not having the intended impact on actual medical practice.

read more | David's blog

Genomics and the Future

Having just completed my traditional undergraduate education in microbiology/biology, I anticipated undertaking the monotonously strict mathematical and biological rigors involved in studying genetics, genomics and proteomics, similar to the courses offered at my alma mater, The University of Michigan. But after the first day at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health’s 2007 Summer Health Institute, I realized how wrong my presumptions had been.

What made this experience unique was the outstanding opportunity to study a topic, rather an important and emerging field, in great detail. The prospect of attending parts I and II of the Genomics in Public Health series would give me the chance to not only hear lectures from highly respected individuals in their respective fields, but would give me a platform upon which to engage in discussion with others on many of these topics. The exposure to important research topics such as stem cells, nutrigenomics, and pharmicogenomics has since framed my opinion of the future of medicine.

read more | David's blog

Community genome

Although the human genome project has led to public discussions of privacy protection and potential breaches of confidentiality, the collection of data for the public good should be discussed as well, to demonstrate the public health aspects and to motivate the public conversation. Trends in Biotechnology published a paper with an interesting approach to the question of balancing the risks and benefits, "Our Social Genome?", (July 2007, [doi:10.1016/j.tibtech.2007.04.006 ]) and that may prompt further discussion. Since the protection of privacy and confidentiality, and definition of ownership of genetic information is so critical to society, and requires public conversation, thought provoking papers can serve as focal points to generate these discussions.

| read more | s masters's blog

CDC hosts online Public Health Genomics seminars

Muin J. Khoury, MD, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Office of Public Health Genomics director, hosts a monthly Public Health Genomics Seminar Series. Sessions for the remainder of 2007 include such diverse topics as family history, regulation and overview, and health disparities.

See the attached for a list of topics. The Web page also includes stored videocasts and pdfs of presentations. Log in for the next seminar on Thursday, July 26, 2007, from 1 - 3 p.m. CST at http://www.cdc.gov/genomics/events/special1.htm

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Podcasts and video from the PH Genomics Courses and PH Roundtable at the University of Minnesota PH Institute are online

Podcasts and video from the Public Health Genomics at the 2007 Public Health Institute at the University of Minnesota (May 21-June 8, 2007)are now available.

This year, three new one-credit courses on public health genomics were offered as part of the 2007 Public Health Institute sponsored by the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. The courses covered many areas relevant to public health, including science, controversies, ethics, and possibilities. Outstanding guest faculty and engaging discussion between presenters and participants were part of every session. Many of the lectures and class discussion can now be downloaded as podcasts (http://blog.lib.umn.edu/sphpod/sphpod/). As students learned more about the role of genomics in public health, they used their developing knowledge to contribute to the Public Health Genomics article on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Health_Genomics ), to posts on the Minnesota Gene Pool Blog (www.mngenepool.umn.edu/blog) and the GeneForum website. As one of the instructors of the course, I was very, very impressed with the high caliber of participants from diverse backgrounds that particpated in the courses. Having participants who brought such accomplishment in other fields and areas of study and were so engaged added to the depth and richness of the experience for everyone.

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CDC hosts online Public Health Genomics seminars

Muin J. Khoury, MD, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Office of Public Health Genomics director, hosts a monthly Public Health Genomics Seminar Series. Sessions for the remainder of 2007 include such diverse topics as family history, regulation and overview, and health disparities. See the attached for a list of topics. The Web page also includes stored videocasts and pdfs of presentations. Logon for the next seminar July 26, 2007 1 - 3 p.m. CST at http://www.cdc.gov/genomics/events/special1.htm

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Exploring a Career in Public Health Genomics

I am a recent college graduate, moving from a background in environmental policy to a future in public health. I attended the Summer Institute in Public Health at the University of Minnesota, and took a two-week series in Genomics. In my mind, Genomics is the most exciting (and intimidating!) sector of public health right now. The science behind genomics is exploding; it is moving at a pace that threatens to leave the general public's understanding of the science in

| read more | Gillian's blog