From public health genomics to precision public health: a 20-year journey

Date: December 14, 2017

In this paper, we review the evolution of the field of public health genomics in the United States in the past two decades. Public health genomics focuses on effective and responsible translation of genomic science into population health benefits. We discuss the relationship of the field to the core public health functions and essential services, review its evidentiary foundation, and provide examples of current US public health priorities and applications. We cite examples of publications to illustrate how Genetics in Medicine reflected the evolution of the field. We also reflect on how public-health genomics is contributing to the emergence of “precision public health” with near-term opportunities offered by the US Precision Medicine (AllofUs) Initiative.