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Genome of Greece is a paradigm for large-scale genomic medicine projects
By George P. Patrinos  |  May 15, 2024
Genome of Greece is a paradigm for large-scale genomic medicine projects
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The integration of genomics is crucial for healthcare to become more personalized, and the Genome of Greece initiative is helping do just that, writes Pharmacogenomics and Pharmaceutical Biotech Prof George P. Patrinos, of the University of Patras, Greece.

PATRAS, GREECE - In the -omics era, great scientific and technological progress promises to advance genomic medicine. As key components of personalized medicine and tailored healthcare, these advances have made possible the association of hundreds of thousands of genetic variants with different diseases.

Several human genome discoveries have resulted in evidence-based applications towards health benefits at a population level, highlighting the role of a multidisciplinary agenda set by the enhanced collaboration among government officials, funding agencies, industry leadership, healthcare providers, and biomedical scientists. Challenges are more profound for developing countries - especially as genomic medicine can be both the basis of knowledge-based economies and also a consequence of them, characterizing a very clear self-perpetuating mechanism. 

Several national and international large-scale genomic medicine initiatives have sought to spearhead the implementation of genomics into healthcare. These initiatives are often multidisciplinary in nature - not only aiming to elucidate the genetic basis of inherited diseases in certain populations, but also approaching genomic medicine from a more holistic perspective, often dealing with practical issues of paramount importance for the implementation of genomic medicine practices. These include genome informatics, ethical, legal, societal, and economic issues, reimbursement policies, and others.

A few countries have adopted nationwide programs to analyze the genomes of a large number of individuals to implement genomic medicine interventions in their healthcare systems. The most well-known is the AllOfUs program - previously the Precision Medicine Initiative - which seeks to form a cohort of 1 million volunteers from diverse population and age groups, environments, and societal backgrounds in the United States and

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