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CDC, NIH to Start Genomic Applications Network

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health is developing a genomics network that will attempt to integrate genomic information into medicine and public health.

The CDC Office of Public Health Genomics will work with NIH to establish the Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention Network, which will address the "chasm between gene discoveries and demonstration of their clinical validity and utility," a group of CDC and NIH staff and stakeholders said in a recent report in the journal Genetics in Medicine.

"The mission of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention Network (GAPPNet) is to accelerate and streamline the effective integration of validated genomic knowledge into the practice of medicine and public health," the authors wrote.

Over the coming months, CDC and NIH will discuss how the network will be set up and how it will function.

It will have four main goals, including synthesizing and disseminating knowledge for new and existing technologies; creating an evidence-based recommendation development process; translating research to evaluate validity, utility, and real-world impact; and offering programs to enhance practice, education, and surveillance of genomic applications.

GAPPNet will largely be a convening entity, but it will include a network of stakeholders and four components that correspond to the network's goals mentioned above.

GAPPNet will expand the information on genomics topics developed by the Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention (EGAPP) working group, and will attempt to link to and disseminate information from EGAPP through partnerships and collaborations.

Researchers involved in the network will use synthesized information on the validity, utility, and impact of specific genomic applications based on EGAPP to make recommendations for healthcare providers, policy makers, health plans, and consumers.

GAPPNet also will promote interdisciplinary research involving four phases, including knowledge from genetic and genomic discoveries; the value of certain applications for health practice; moving evidence-based recommendations into health practice; and evaluating "real-world" health outcomes of health applications in practice.

"We believe that GAPPNet will help to catalyze productive interactions between existing and emerging translational research efforts, thereby speeding knowledge base expansion and driving the dissemination for disease treatment and prevention," the paper's authors wrote.

CDC and NIH will sponsor a number of meetings with other stakeholders in the future to discuss goals and activities, and to draft specific action plans.

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