From Genetic Discoveries to Public Health Benefits
The Human Genome Project has led to tremendous interest in the potential of using genomic information to help decipher the role of genetic factors in health and disease. Huge investments in genetic research are expected to result in 60 per cent of the population becoming eligible for genetic testing, a dramatic growth from the current two per cent.
This will result in a substantial increase in the amount of genetic information available to genetic epidemiologists.
Dr. Julian Little, Canada Research Chair in Human Genome Epidemiology, is helping develop the techniques that will be needed to translate genetic discoveries into opportunities for preventive medicine and public health benefits.
Little is evaluating and further developing guidelines on the methodology and reporting of studies that are investigating genetic variations and their effects on human health. He is also integrating evidence of people who have a greater likelihood of brain disorders, colorectal cancer and cleft lip and palate, because of their genetic backgrounds. In addition, Little is developing disease prevention approaches that incorporate genetic information.
Little’s research will allow genetic discoveries to be transformed into applications for human health.