Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



Objective: To analyze the need for increased content on genomics in Public Health (PH) academic curriculum.

Methods: A literature synthesis was performed of various genetic science studies. Results were assessed with regard to the number and type of genomic studies published, cost to perform genetic analyses, health care provider and the public’s use and understanding of genetic testing capabilities. A search was conducted and assessment performed of public health genomics curriculum at accredited public health educational programs.

Results: The cost to sequence a single genome declined from $10 million in 2007 to under $10 thousand in 2012. This cost reduction correlates with an uptrend in published genome-wide association studies from about 50 published in 2007 to over 1300 published in 2012. Approximately 2000 genetic tests are currently available with applications relevant to environmental genetics, personalized medicine and reproductive trait testing. A dearth of genetics-related material in academic PH programs is juxtaposed against current advancements in genetics.

Conclusions: Public health professionals should learn and develop genomic science materials for health promotion and education and policy addressing today’s genetic determinants of health. A broad-based PH genomics course which introduces many issues versus deep details into a single genomics topic would address this need for the next generation of public health students and would be a valuable continuing education offering for current professionals. The discussion includes recommendations related to a full spectrum of PH programs, to include smaller programs that may not be in a position to add a new focus of study.

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Poster_London.pdf (113 kB)

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