This Fall I took a Genetic Epidemiology class taught by Prof. Roxana Moslehi. We covered a lot of various topics ( linkage analysis, genetic counseling, genome-wide studies, microarrays,etc) in a quite a short period if time. One of the most fascinating was watching a film about DNA discovery, how genetic research was banned at MIT, the dialog about ethics, legal and biotechnology perspectives between scientists and society which still continues nowadays. The giant leaps that have been done in the past 30 years with Human Genome project and numerous genetic test, public awareness, specialized web resources, one of them that I found useful is Huge Navigator to search cancer, stroke, Crohn`s disease and other disease with genetic association, track the evolution in human genome epidemiology as well as find investigators in a particular field of human genome epidemiology.
It seems to me that some of us still do not realize that genomics and personalized medicine already has an enormous impact on public health by providing a better understanding of diseases pathogenesis, accurate assessment of disease susceptibility and prediction of drug response. For example, screening of newborns for elevated phenylalanine to identify the affected babies to prescribe diet in order to prevent mental retardation; prevention of adverse and costly drug reactions by pharmacogenomics approach.