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.
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.
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.
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.
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 http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nm/journal/v7/n3/full/nm0301_281.html