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Pharmacogenetics and the Great Melting Pot

Posted Nov 19 2009 10:02pm

When I was in grade school in the 1970s we celebrated the bicentennial of the United States. In my memory, it was the biggest, longest birthday party ever. A big theme in our studies before and during 1976 was the US as the “Great Melting Pot” — of people, of languages, of cultures. Schoolhouse Rock even provided the illustrations.

Now it’s the 2000s and, guess what, I’m still talking about the melting pot phenomenon with colleagues. But this time, it’s the melting pot analogy* applies in terms our genes:

“Pharmacogenetics/genomics has the potential to benefit people worldwide and to reduce the health disparities between developing and developed nations. This goal is unlikely to be achieved by relinquishing the notion of personalized drug therapy tailored to individual genetic characteristics–the original promise of pharmacogenetics–in favor of a model (pharmacogenomic?) of population-based drug development and prescription, with all its potential pitfalls, especially when extended to admixed populations in developing or developed nations.”

From G Suarez-Kurtz and SD Pena, Pharmacogenomics in the Americas: the impact of genetic admixture,Curr Drug Targets. 2006 Dec;7(12):1649-58.

*The cultural melting pot analogy has been replaced with the concept of stew: we’re not blended up into one homogenous cultural soup. We’re chunky. We’re complicated.

Technorati Tags: pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics, ethnicity, personalized medicine, human genome, drugs

This entry was posted on Friday, January 26th, 2007 at 11:55 am and is filed under Drug Response, Human Genome. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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