Imagine a physician discussing the results of a blood test with a patient that show the risk for colon cancer to be increased 4-fold and the risk for diabetes as twice normal. After discussing the meaning of the tests, the physician, the patient, and the nurse design a preventive medicine program to maximize the patient's chances of staying well. This scenario may not be as far-fetched or far off as it may seem.
As a physician and as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), I am delighted by the explosion in knowledge of human gene function and its contribution to disease, and I welcome this theme issue on genetics in THE JOURNAL.
Largely because of the Human Genome Project, a 15-year international effort nearing its halfway point,1,2 disease gene discoveries and genetic technologies will increasingly drive biomedical research and the