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November 19, 2008

Organizational Improvements to Enhance Modern Clinical Epidemiology

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Duke Translational Medicine Institute (Dr Califf) and the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (Dr Ginsburg), Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.

JAMA. 2008;300(19):2300-2302. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.638

Unprecedented investments in biological sciences and information technology are catalyzing revolutionary changes in clinical epidemiology and redefining human health and disease, as well as the approach to disease classification and treatment.1 However, the potential of these innovations will only be realized within a biomedical enterprise that develops appropriate strategies for their use. Seven facets—traditional clinical epidemiology; biobanks; genomics and molecular profiling; imaging; bioinformatics; biostatistics; and decision making—are critical to this new approach but must be placed within a systems framework that integrates each discipline's contributions. Connecting these once-isolated spheres of endeavor would benefit clinicians and the public, if necessary preconditions are met.