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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 03/14/01
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Liggett Authors Article in Nature Medicine

Cincinnati--Stephen B. Liggett, MD, professor of medicine and pharmacology and chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine, reports pharmacogenetic theories relating to the human genome in the March issue of Nature Medicine.

His article entitled "Pharmacogenetic Applications of the Human Genome Project" addresses the relationships between pharmacology and the recent mapping and sequencing of the human genome. Pharmacogenetics is the study of drug response on organisms influenced by hereditary factors. According to Liggett, pharmacogenetics is likely to have a significant impact on all aspects of medical science including the use of personalized medications identified by genetic makeup.

"Although we have known for many years that genetic variations encode characteristics such as hair and eye color, we have recently come to realize that genetic variations affect almost all aspects of biological function," Liggett wrote in Nature Medicine. "The sequence and analysis of the human genome provides a map for gaining a better understanding of the genetic basis of human diversity.

"The potential for individualized therapy, based on a patient's genetic information, has been accelerated by the availability of the human genome sequence." However, Liggett acknowledges the necessity of further scientific investigation of available drug responses. The combination of genetic differences in ethnic groups and the changes in disease states from one host to another are just a few of many complex variables to understanding the human genome's impact on medicine.

"After the completion of the genome..., the implementation of pharmacogenetics into drug discovery and medical practice is the next great challenge," Liggett wrote. "By 2010, personalized medicine based on pharmacogenetics should be in place, if we are able to capitalize on the wealth of information provided from the Human Genome Project."

Look for Liggett's article on the Nature Medicine web page at

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