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					                                Identification of Issues of Concern in Public Health Genomics
                          for the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society
                                               Suzanne Luther, Institute of Public Health Genetics, Department of Epidemiology
                                                              School of Public Health, University of Washington


                      Background                                                                                                              Methods (continued)
The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health,                                                                        •Categories were classified by decreasing level of importance
and Society (SACGHS) assists the Department of Health and                                                                      as high-priority topics for SACGHS consideration, low-priority
Human Services (HHS) in exploring concerns raised by                                                                           topics for SACGHS consideration, and other topics of possible
genetic/genomic technologies and advises the HHS Secretary                                                                     interest (see figure).
on how to address these issues. At the end of 2008, SACGHS                                                                     •For the highest-priority categories, the literature was
identified public health genomics as a priority area for its                                                                   reviewed and documents created to provide SACGHS with an
work, but did not define any specific focus within this                                                                        overview of each topic, an exploration of specific issues, and
extremely broad subject. SACGHS is supported by the Office                                                                     potential policy questions to be addressed
of Biotechnology Activities (OBA), under the Office of Science
Policy at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda,
Maryland.

                                                                                                                                               Results/Next Steps
                                                                                                                               •Three topics were identified as high-priority topics for
                       Objectives                                                                                              SACGHS consideration: disparities and access with regard to
                                                                                                                               genetic technologies, environmental justice and
•To identify topics of concern related to public health                                                                        preparedness.
genomics about which SACGHS may wish to undertake                                                                              •Papers were completed for the disparities/access and
examination                                                                                                                    environmental justice, and begun for the preparedness topic.
•To draft a series of documents outlining high-priority issues            Categories of Topics in Public Health Genomics for   •The preparedness paper and papers on carrier testing/non-
within public health genomics to assist SACGHS in deciding                      Potential Consideration by SACGHS
                                                                                                                               newborn screening and toxicogenomics are anticipated to be
which subjects might warrant closer scrutiny                                                                                   completed by a fellow hosted by OBA during the coming year
                                                                                                 Key

                        Methods
•A master list of subjects related to public health genomics
was generated, drawn from the academic literature,                                                                                   Acknowledgements and Funding
suggestions from UW Institute for Public Health Genetics
                                                                                                                               •Site Supervisor: Cathy Fomous, Ph.D., Senior Health Policy
(IPHG) faculty and students, transcripts of past SACGHS
                                                                                                                               Analyst, National Institutes of Health
meetings, SACGHS member requests and public comments.
                                                                                                                               •Faculty Advisor: Debra Lochner-Doyle, MS, CGC
•The master list was sorted into broad topic categories.
                                                                                                                               •Many thanks to Dr. Fomous, Abby Rives, and the SACGHS
Topics already taken up by or in the process of being
                                                                                                                               staff for their support, and the faculty and students of the
addressed by SACGHS or other committees were eliminated
                                                                                                                               UW IPHG for their input
from consideration.
                                                                                                                               •This practicum was completed as a paid internship through
                                                                                                                               the NIH Summer Internship Program at the OBA offices in
                                                                                                                               Bethesda, MD

				
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