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June 6, 2007

Genomics and Public Health Research—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2007;297(21):2347-2348. doi:10.1001/jama.297.21.2348

In Reply: Along with Dr Khoury and colleagues, others have called for a closer integration of genomics and public health research.1 Community-partnered participatory research (CPPR) and other community-based participatory approaches hold promise to promote inclusion of diverse populations in genomics studies, increasing generalizability and knowledge of the distribution of risk factors, which is key to targeting prevention efforts. The CPPR model, through equalizing power sharing, may increase public trust and ownership of research, an important outcome given the distrust that may have resulted from historical research abuses such as Tuskegee.2 Furthermore, CPPR may increase community participation in preventive interventions for genetically complex diseases such as diabetes; prevention interventions for such illnesses are available now, while corresponding new gene therapies may be a long time in coming. The CPPR approach, through mutual benefits that foster collaboration, offers a link between realizing the promise of genomics research for diverse populations and implementing urgently needed public health practice.