Genomics for public health improvement: relevant international ethical and policy issues around genome-wide association studies and biobanks

Public Health Genomics. 2013;16(1-2):69-72. doi: 10.1159/000341500. Epub 2013 Mar 18.


Genome-wide association studies and biobanks are at the forefront of genomics research and possess unprecedented potential to improve public health. However, for public health genomics to ultimately fulfill its potential, technological and scientific advances alone are insufficient. Scientists, ethicists, policy makers, and regulators must work closely together with research participants and communities in order to craft an equitable and just ethical framework, and a sustainable environment for effective policies. Such a framework should be a 'hybrid' form which balances equity and solidarity with entrepreneurship and scientific advances. A good balance between research and policy on one hand, and privacy, protection and trust on the other is the key for public health improvement based on advances in genomics science.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Diseases / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Genomics* / ethics
  • Genomics* / trends
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Public Health* / ethics
  • Public Health* / trends