The case for a global human genome epidemiology initiative
Collins argues for a large population-based prospective cohort study in the US to assess the role of genes and environment in common diseases1. Without such a study, he maintains that the promise of genomic research for improving population health will remain out of reach. This study is worthy of serious consideration but will be expensive, take years to implement and not guarantee the desired benefit of translating human genome discoveries into population health benefits. Here, I contend that what is urgently needed is a coordinated global initiative to carry out and synthesize human genome epidemiologic research worldwide. I discuss three needs driving this initiative and argue that this effort could accelerate translation of human genome discoveries into population health benefits.