The Role of Government in Precision Medicine, Precision Public Health and the Intersection With Healthy Living

Laurie P. Whitsel, John Wilbanks, Mark D. Huffman, Jennifer L. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper focuses on the significant role of government in promoting precision medicine and public health and the potential intersection with healthy living (HL) and population health. Recent research has highlighted the interplay between genes, environments and different exposures individuals and populations experience over a lifetime. These interactions between longitudinal behaviors, epigenetics, and expression of the human genome have the potential to transform health and well-being, even within a single generation. Precision medicine can elucidate these longitudinal interactions with a granularity that has not been previously possible across the exposome. Understanding the interactions between genes, epigenetics, proteins, metabolites, and the exposome may inform more evidence-based, effective policy, system, and environmental change to optimize individual and population health. Government has an important role in helping to fund primary research in precision medicine and precision public health, as well as creating and enforcing standards related to food systems, air quality, and access to health care, defining and optimizing measures of health care quality and safety, and ensuring data privacy standards and protections, interoperability, and integration with surveillance systems. Government partnership and collaboration with the non-profit and private sectors can optimize precision medicine and precision public health for the benefit of the United States and global population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-54
Number of pages5
JournalProgress in Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 12 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Mark Huffman: MDH receives grant support from the World Heart Federation to serve as its senior program advisor for the Emerging Leaders program, which is supported by unrestricted educational grants from Boehringer Ingelheim and Novartis with previous support from AstraZeneca and Bupa. MDH also receives support from the American Heart Association, Verily, and AstraZeneca for work unrelated to this project. MDH also serves as associate editor for JAMA Cardiology for which he receives compensation from the American Medical Association.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Government
  • Policy
  • Population health
  • Precision medicine
  • Public health


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