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Harnessing the potential of human population genetics research to improve the quality of the EU citizen


Member and Associated States across the European Research Area are supporting research on population genetics in order to build upon the significant investments^ made in sequencing the human genome. The scope of these investments has been limited by the re sources available and the size of the population being served. Significant added value can be obtained if the objectives and protocols involved in human population genetics research at a national level can be harmonised to become representative of the enti re EU population. The EU would thereby develop and maintain a leading global position in genetic epidemiology and population genetics. Advances in genetic medicine would be harnessed to improve public health and preventative healthcare for the EU citizen. The aim of this Specific Support Action is to plan, organise and hold an international conference that will review existing research in human population genetics across the ERA. It will identify related strengths and weaknesses, take stock of technologies and needs and help to build partnerships between existing and new national and international projects in the field. A forward-looking strategy for translating the outputs of population genetics research into clinically useful and health enhancing initiativ es and for improving EU industrial competitiveness will be developed. This strategy will be inclusive, including all Member and Associated States and Associated Candidate Countries. EUHealthGen will be co-funded by the Wellcome Trust. Co-ordination will be by a Steering Committee composed of key stakeholders with a major interest in human population genetics. The Steering Committee will meet twice during the planning phase of the proposed conference. It will then meet twice following the conference to agree the report and to lay the foundations for implementing the developed strategy. The conference will be held at the Wellcome Trust Conference Centre, Cambridge, UK on 21-23 September 2005.

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