Arts & Sciences Brown School McKelvey School of Engineering School of Medicine

ICTS Precision Health Team Develops Genomic Return of Results Service

Returning genetic results to research participants requires thoughtful planning. ICTS Precision Health at Washington University in St. Louis, aims to catalyze genomic research by providing grant review and development services, guidance and resources for genomic researchers and genomics education in the community. Precision Health is a component of the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences’ Clinical and Translational Science Award, granted by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the NIH.  

What is Precision Health and how does it work with the ICTS? 

Precision health is a concept that takes into account differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles and formulates treatment and prevention strategies based on patients’ unique backgrounds and conditions. It is a personalized approach to healthcare that includes environmental and genetic factors that affect health and disease.   

“Our goals in the ICTS Precision Health Function are to make genomic resources more accessible to a wide variety of researchers, to facilitate formation of multidisciplinary teams who will apply medical genomics in both bench-to-bedside and bedside-to-bench research, and to educate the genomics research workforce, health care providers, patients, and the public about the use of genomics within the precision health endeavor.” Jenny McKenzie, PhD, Precision Health Program Scientist 

What Is Return of Results? 

“Anyone who has worked with genetics and recruited patients for genetic studies understands that we, as investigators, have a lot of information in our genomic databases, some of which may be medically relevant and potentially lifesaving to a patient. The ICTS Precision Health function is helping investigators by creating guidelines and resources to actually return important research results back to the patients.” Christina A. Gurnett, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology, Associate Director of the ICTS  

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