Imagine a physician discussing the results of a blood test with a patient that show the risk for colon cancer to be increased 4-fold and the risk for diabetes as twice normal. After discussing the meaning of the tests, the physician, the patient, and the nurse design a preventive medicine program to maximize the patient's chances of staying well. This scenario may not be as far-fetched or far off as it may seem.
As a physician and as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), I am delighted by the explosion in knowledge of human gene function and its contribution to disease, and I welcome this theme issue on genetics in THE JOURNAL.
Largely because of the Human Genome Project, a 15-year international effort nearing its halfway point,1,2 disease gene discoveries and genetic technologies will increasingly drive biomedical research and the
Collins FS. Preparing Health Professionals for the Genetic Revolution. JAMA. 1997;278(15):1285-1286. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550150089043