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# The Influence of ‘Omics’ in Shaping Precision Medicine

Authors:
*Scott McGrath,
Disclosure:

The author has declared no conflicts of interest.

Acknowledgements:

The author would like to thank Kiran Bastola, Dario Ghersi, Matt Hale, and Rebecca Anderson for their assistance in providing feedback for this manuscript.

03.07.17
Accepted:
20.11.17
Citation
EMJ Innov. ;2[1]:50-55.

Each article is made available under the terms of the .

### Abstract

Precision medicine is quickly emerging as an exciting new medical model in which patient information is extracted from their lifestyle, environmental, and genetic data. These data will be used to augment and refine traditional medical data to provide a higher level of specificity for disease prevention and patient care. Of the three pillars supporting precision medicine, this paper takes a deeper look at the genetic and genomic pillar; in particular, investigating the role the field of ‘omics’ has played in helping to develop precision medicine. The term omics is used to describe the collective research efforts of molecular biology for various subdomains (e.g., genomics, proteomics, metabolomics). While this paper is not exhaustive in scope, cases where omics has impacted both clinical practice and public health are highlighted, as well as a discussion of where omics has yet to bridge the gap between these two areas of medicine. The aim of this manuscript is to provide the reader with insight on the particular challenges and benefits of pursuing precision medicine.

## INTRODUCTION

Precision medicine is a medical model in which an individual’s genes, environment, and lifestyle are used as additional layers of patient data in disease treatment and prevention plans (Figure 1).1 Diagnostic clustering and categorisation of patients via parameters such as genetics, biomarkers, phenotypes, and psychosocial characteristics will enhance the level of care physicians will be able to provide.2 This concept is not new and, in fact, the model has already obtained several monikers, like personalised and individualised medicine.3,4 Linking an individual’s environmental exposure to the associated health impact has given rise to the study of the exposome5 and the field of molecular pathological epidemiology (MPE).6 The depth and breadth of the exposome and MPE studies eclipse many aspects of the other two pillars. For example, MPE research probes the complex network of macroenvironments with tissue microenvironments, and the unique profile creates multiple factors, such as microbiomes, transcriptomes, and interactomes, to name only a few.7 This paper explores the genomic pillar of precision medicine to help gauge the model’s overall progress; however, this should not be taken as emphasis of its importance over the environmental and lifestyle components, which are equally valuable.

Figure 1: Precision medicine adds three additional data sets to existing traditional patient medical records: data about the patient’s environmental exposures, their lifestyle, and their genomic data.