Precision Medicine & Population Health


The implementation of the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) is now well under way. Cancer is important to both arms of this initiative: the oncology treatment arm, in which NCI is taking the lead in developing precision medicine therapeutics, as well as in the cohort component, through which recruitment of a large number of individuals for epidemiologic and other follow-up studies and interventions will contribute to our knowledge on a wide range of diseases, including cancer. The PMI network also can serve as a platform for a vast array of research studies, both observational and interventional.

The current focus of precision medicine emphasizes medical applications in healthcare settings. However, since health in populations is driven by biologic, social, environmental and economic processes, those determinants of health and health disparities also need to be addressed — including the development of precision tools to measure them. To make an impact on population health, we must explore the intersection of precision medicine with population health indicators in general — and cancer control more specifically — to ensure that we take advantage of opportunities to develop more precise approaches to targeted interventions for both populations and individual patients.

A DCCPS-wide interest group was created to explore more fully the scientific and societal intersections between Precision Medicine & Population Health, and the unique role that multiple population sciences and team science can play in bridging the gaps between the two.

The Precision Medicine & Population Health Interest Group’s mission is to:

  • Engage both the scientific community at the National Cancer Institute and other Institutes and the extramural research community in the field of “precision population health”
  • Identify priority research questions in precision public health
  • Develop collaborative interdisciplinary funding initiatives to advance the field
  • Disseminate information about ongoing research activities across the Division in precision medicine
  • Coordinate relevant webinars and collaborative workshops
  • To promote research in population sciences to fulfill the promise of precision treatment and prevention in reducing the burden of cancer
 Precision Medicine & Population Health



National Cancer Institute Web Pages:

NCI and the Precision Medicine Initiative

NCI-MATCH Precision Medicine Clinical Trial

The NCI Genomic Data Commons (About Page)

Precision Cancer Screening in the General Population: Evidence, Epidemiology, and Next Steps

National Cancer Moonshot Initiative

National Cancer Moonshot Initiative Blue Ribbon Panel

National Institutes of Health Web Pages:

Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program

Precision Medicine Initiative Working Group Final Report

White House Web Pages:

The White House Precision Medicine Initiative Web Page

White House Fact Sheet: President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Public Health Genomics

Public Health Genomics Knowledge Base (v1.0) (Precision Public Health and Precision Medicine material)


National Academy of Medicine, 2016 Richard & Hinda Rosenthal Symposium: Precision Population Health

Vice President Biden's remarks during the closing plenary session at the AACR Annual Meeting 2016 Exit Disclaimer

National Institutes of Health Precision Medicine Initiative YouTube Channel Exit Disclaimer

Sue Desmond Hellman, CEO Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Public Health Grand Rounds at The Aspen Institute, discussing “Precision Public Health,” December 2015 Exit Disclaimer

Muin Khoury, CDC Office of Public Health Genomics, keynote address at the 2015 Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences Annual Colloquium, “Precision Public Health in the Era of Precision Medicine,” December 2015 Exit Disclaimer
(Slides from presentation) Exit Disclaimer

UC San Francisco, in partnership with the White House and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, hosted the Precision Public Health Summit, Precision Public Health Summit: The First 1,000 Days. Exit Disclaimer

Sue Desmond-Hellman TED Talk, “A smarter, more precise way to think about public health.” Exit Disclaimer


Bayer R, Galea S. Public Health in the Precision-Medicine Era. N Engl J Med. 2015;373(6):499-501.

Beger RD, Dunn W, Schmidt MA, et al. Metabolomics enables precision medicine: "A White Paper, Community Perspective". Metabolomics. 2016;12(10):149.

Berrigan D, Hipp JA, Hurvitz PM, et al. Geospatial and Contextual Approaches to Energy Balance and Health. Ann GIS. 2015;21(2):157-168.

Bonham VL, Callier SL, Royal CD. Will Precision Medicine Move Us beyond Race?. N Engl J Med. 2016;374(21):2003-5.

Chambers DA, Feero WG, Khoury MJ. Convergence of Implementation Science, Precision Medicine, and the Learning Health Care System: A New Model for Biomedical Research. JAMA. 2016;315(18):1941-2.

Collins FS, Varmus H. A new initiative on precision medicine. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(9):793-5.

Collins FS. Exceptional opportunities in medical science: a view from the National Institutes of Health. JAMA. 2015;313(2):131-2.

Dowell, S, Blazes, D, Desmond-Hellman, S. Four steps to precision public health. Nature. 2016;540:189-191.

Fradkin JE, Hanlon MC, Rodgers GP. NIH Precision Medicine Initiative: Implications for Diabetes Research. Diabetes Care. 2016;

Galea S, Annas GJ. Aspirations and Strategies for Public Health. JAMA. 2016;315(7):655-6.

Galea S, Bayer R. The Precision Medicine Chimera. Exit Disclaimer Project Syndicate. January 13, 2016

Green RF, Dotson WD, Bowen S, Kolor K, Khoury MJ. Genomics in Public Health: Perspective from the Office of Public Health Genomics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Healthcare (Basel). 2015;3(3):830-837.

James P, Jankowska M, Marx C, et al. "Spatial Energetics": Integrating Data From GPS, Accelerometry, and GIS to Address Obesity and Inactivity. Am J Prev Med. 2016; [Epub ahead of print].

Jones, T. Let’s Discuss: Precision Public Health and the need for interventions to improve uptake of BRCA genetic testing among Black Women. NCI Research to Reality Discussion. October 13, 2016.

Joyner MJ, Paneth N. Seven Questions for Personalized Medicine. JAMA. 2015;314(10):999-1000.

Khoury, MJ. 2016: The Year of Precision Public Health! CDC Genomics and Health Impact Blog. December 14, 2016.

Khoury, MJ, Richardson, LC. The Cancer Moonshot, Hereditary Cancers and Population Genetic Screening. Blog. October 18, 2016.

Khoury MJ, Evans JP. A public health perspective on a national precision medicine cohort: balancing long-term knowledge generation with early health benefit. JAMA. 2015;313(21):2117-8.

Khoury, MJ, Galea, S. Precision Public Health: More Precision Ahead for Individual and Population Interventions. CDC Genomics and Health Impact Blog. September 7, 2016.

Khoury MJ, Iademarco MF, Riley WT. Precision Public Health for the Era of Precision Medicine. Am J Prev Med. 2016;50(3):398-401.

Khoury, MJ. Precision Public Health and Precision Medicine: Two Peas in a Pod. CDC Genomics and Health Impact Blog. March 2, 2015.

Khoury, MJ. Precision Public Health: Reconciling Biological and Social Determinants of Health.

Khoury, MJ. Precision Medicine & Population Health: Dealing With the Elephant in the Room. CDC Genomics and Health Impact Blog. August 17, 2016.

Khoury MJ, Galea, S. Will Precision Medicine Improve Population Health?. JAMA. 2016; [Epub ahead of print].

Kohn EC, Ivy SP. Confronting the Care Delivery Challenges Arising from Precision Medicine. Front Oncol. 2016;6:106.

Levy-lahad E, Lahad A, King MC. Precision medicine meets public health: population screening for BRCA1 and BRCA2. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015;107(1):420.

Perakslis, E. D., & Kohane, I. S. Treating the enigmatic "exceptional responders" as patients with undiagnosed diseases. Science Translational Medicine. 2016;8(340).

Riazalhosseini Y, Lathrop M. Precision medicine from the renal cancer genome. Nat Rev Nephrol. 2016; [Epub ahead of print]

Shrager J. Precision medicine: Fantasy meets reality. Science. 2016;353(6305):1216-7.

Tenenbaum JD, Avillach P, Benham-hutchins M, et al. An informatics research agenda to support precision medicine: seven key areas. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2016;


Archived Webinar Series

Dr. Joshua Knowles presentation (PDF)

Ms. Heather Hampel presentation (PDF)

The Precision Medicine & Population Health (PMPH) Interest Group in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute along with Center for Translation and Implementation Science, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute invites you to join Dr. Joshua Knowles and Dr. Heather Hampel for the webinar, "Precision Public Health in Action: How to Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer Associated with Inherited Mutations.”

In this session, we will explore how “precision” public health approaches can help reduce the burden of heart disease and cancer due to inherited mutations. Dr. Knowles will lead with a presentation on population-based and cascade approaches to identify patients and families with familial hypercholesterolemia. Ms. Hampel will present on population-based and cascade approaches to identify patients and families with Lynch syndrome. The webinar will conclude with time for discussion and Q&A on implications for other conditions and the pros and cons of adult genetic screening.

Recorded webinar presentation Exit Disclaimer

Dr. William Riley’s presentation (PDF)

Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo’s presentation (PDF)

In this session Dr. Riley lead with a presentation on precision medicine discussing its scope “beyond genes, drugs and diseases” followed by Dr. Bibbins-Domingo discussing the concept of precision public health as it has evolved recently as a result of a “precision public health summit” sponsored by the Gates foundation at the University of California at San Francisco in June 2016.

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, MD, PhD, MAS

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, MD, PhD, MAS
Lee Goldman, MD Endowed Chair in Medicine
Professor of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
University of California, San Francisco

Relevant publications:

Recorded webinar presentation Exit Disclaimer

Dr. David Chambers’s presentation (PDF)

Dr. Geoffrey S. Ginsburg’s presentation (PDF)

In this session Dr. Chambers lead with a presentation discussing the convergence of implementation science and precision medicine, followed by Dr. Ginsburg discussing the IGNITE (Implementing GeNomics In pracTicE) network, and other precision medicine initiatives occurring globally and at Duke University.

David Chambers

David Chambers, DPhil.
Deputy Director for Implementation Science
Office of the Director
Division of Cancer Control & Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute

Relevant publications:

Geoffrey S. Ginsburg, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine, Pathology, and Biomedical Engineering
Professor in the School of Nursing
Director, Center for Applied Genomics & Precision Medicine
Duke University

Relevant publications:

Recorded webinar presentation Exit Disclaimer

Dr. Sandro Galea’s presentation (PDF)

Dr. Muin Khoury’s presentation (PDF)

In this session, Dr. Muin J. Khoury (Director, Office of Public Health Genomics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and Dr. Sandro Galea (Dean & Robert A. Knox Professor, Boston University School of Public Health) gave alternating viewpoints on whether the field of public health will be accelerated and improved with the new era of precision medicine.


Muin J. Khoury, MD, PhD
Office of Public Health Genomics, CDC
Senior Advisor, Division of Cancer Control & Population Sciences, NCI, NIH

Relevant publications:


Sandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH
Dean & Robert A. Knox Professor
Boston University School of Public Health

Relevant publications: