Document Type

Teacher Resource

Publication Date

Fall 2015


In his testimony to a House of Representatives sub-committee on health, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, Francis S. Collins, said that the future of genomics had three main focal points:

"Genomics to Biology: The human genome sequence provides foundational information that now will allow development of a comprehensive catalog of all of the genome's components, determination of the function of all human genes, and deciphering of how genes and proteins work together in pathways and networks.

Genomics to Health: Completion of the human genome sequence offers a unique opportunity to understand the role of genetic factors in health and disease, and to apply that understanding rapidly to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. This opportunity will be realized through such genomics-based approaches as identification of genes and pathways and determining how they interact with environmental factors in health and disease, more precise prediction of disease susceptibility and drug response, early detection of illness, and development of entirely new therapeutic approaches.

Genomics to Society: Just as the HGP {human genome project} has spawned new areas of research in basic biology and in health, it has created new opportunities in exploring the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of such work. These include defining policy options regarding the use of genomic information in both medical and non-medical settings and analysis of the impact of genomics on such concepts as race, ethnicity, kinship, individual and group identity, health, disease, and "normality" for traits and behaviors."



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