Interdisciplinary Models for Research and Clinical Endeavors in Genomic Medicine: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association

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Abstract

The completion of the Human Genome Project has unleashed a wealth of human genomics information, but it remains unclear how best to implement this information for the benefit of patients. The standard approach of biomedical research, with researchers pursuing advances in knowledge in the laboratory and, separately, clinicians translating research findings into the clinic as much as decades later, will need to give way to new interdisciplinary models for research in genomic medicine. These models should include scientists and clinicians actively working as teams to study patients and populations recruited in clinical settings and communities to make genomics discoveries—through the combined efforts of data scientists, clinical researchers, epidemiologists, and basic scientists—and to rapidly apply these discoveries in the clinic for the prediction, prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The highly publicized US Precision Medicine Initiative, also known as All of Us, is a large-scale program funded by the US National Institutes of Health that will energize these efforts, but several ongoing studies such as the UK Biobank Initiative; the Million Veteran Program; the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics Network; the Kaiser Permanente Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health; and the DiscovEHR collaboration are already providing exemplary models of this kind of interdisciplinary work. In this statement, we outline the opportunities and challenges in broadly implementing new interdisciplinary models in academic medical centers and community settings and bringing the promise of genomics to fruition.

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