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October 15, 1997

Preparing Health Professionals for the Genetic Revolution

Author Affiliations

From the National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

JAMA. 1997;278(15):1285-1286. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550150089043

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