Genomic research is rapidly expanding our knowledge about the genetic contributors to health and disease. A broad range of health benefits will flow from this research, including tests to predict disease risk and guide drug use, innovative therapies, and improved understanding of the interactions between genetic and environmental contributors to health. How ever, the specific benefits will vary for different diseases and populations, influenced by the nature of the genetic and non-genetic contributors, and the availability and safety of therapeutic options. T he likelihood of benefit for a particular individual or group will also be influenced by social, political and economic factors such as access to health care, meaning attached to genetic risk information, and cost and acceptability of specific interventions. In particular, medically underserved and marginalized populations may experience greater barriers to receiving benefit from genomic health applications, with the potential for genomics to exacerbate existing health disparities. In this renewal application of the Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality, we will build on our existing work to develop methods for enhancing the benefits of genomic translation, with particular attention to the use of genomic technology to address population health and health disparities.
The specific aims of our center are to: (1) Characterize the range of challenges and opportunities in the translation process from genomic discovery to health benefit with an emphasis on targeting benefits for medically underserved populations;(2) Develop methods to build and evaluate university -community and interdisciplinary partnerships, including deliberative processes and strategies to identify common ground;(3) Develop tools to assist decision-making about the clinical use and reimbursement of genomic health applications;(4) Provide training opportunities to encourage the participation of researchers from underrepresented minorities in the Center's research agenda and other ELSI research;(5) Stimulate collaborative partnerships that result in additional funded research addressing these and related questions.
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