Genomics and your health

How Genomics Contributes to Your Health

The Starting Point:
The Human Genome Project

The Human Genome Project, an unprecedented international cooperative effort among scientists, was officially launched in 1990. As its name suggests, the purpose of this project was to sequence the entire human genome, a goal which it achieved some 15 years later. For the medical scientific community, this map of our genome is of great importance. It helps to identify the genes responsible for certain diseases and broadens our understanding of the workings of the human body, particularly the relationships among genes, proteins and diseases.


Genomics is a new discipline that holds tremendous promise for many sectors of activity. Human health is where it will no doubt have the greatest impact.

By unravelling the mystery of the genome, researchers are better able to study diseases. Genomics is allowing them to understand why some people develop illnesses while others stay healthy their entire lives. Through genomics, scientists can also design effective screening tools, treatments and prevention programs for illnesses, such as heart disease and certain forms of cancer.

In medicine, genomics makes it possible to:

  • Improve the diagnosis of diseases
  • Identify a person’s genetic predisposition to a disease
  • Develop treatments tailored to each individual’s genetic makeup, leading in turn to advances in precision medicine
  • Understand the impact of our lifestyle and the environment on our genome and our health

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