Genomics Forum Blog

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Inaugural GAPPNet Meeting

As 2009 is coming to a close, there have been some exciting new developments in the world of genomics. Last month I attended the Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention Network (GAPPNet) inaugural meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The meeting was convened by the CDC Office of Public Health Genomics, UM Center for Public Health and Community Genomics, NCI Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, NHGRI, and AHRQ.

GAPPNet is a collaborative partnership of stakeholders “working together to realize the promise of genomics in healthcare and disease prevention.” The first day consisted of presentations from a number of academic, government, non-profit, and industry representatives. The second day was dedicated to working groups who were tasked with envisioning GAPPNet structure, outreach, and potential products or services.

On Day 2, one GAPPNet attendee spoke about genomics research and practice using a rowing metaphor. Currently we are all in various boats and we’re rowing in directions and at tempos dictated by our unique missions, visions, and funding sources. We don’t really know a lot about what’s going on in other boats and we may or may not be rowing in the exact same direction.

An organization like GAPPNet could help to get us all moving in the same direction—streamlining the pipeline from “bench to bedside” and beyond. Broadly, its activities would encompass four domains: Knowledge Synthesis and Dissemination, Development of Evidence-Based Recommendations, Translation Research, and Programs to Enhance Practice, Education, and Surveillance. As an opening salvo, GAPPNet collaborative efforts will produce a searchable online database of genomics scholarship and funded projects within the next year. This type of database would be highly beneficial for those seeking multi-disciplinary collaborators, networking, or ideas for future projects.

Anyone interested in learning more about GAPPNet activities and membership should visit their website:

-Heather Honoré

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