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Genetics – Genomics Categorizations

January 31, 2021


Genomics really spans a broader set of areas than most health or medical specialties or branches, because of the application of genomics to other medical fields. Nonetheless, as it relates to health, the basic categorization that has emerged for sub-branches in genomics are, first is Ancestry. While some purists would not include this, it serves as the entry point for many people to the world of genomics, and thus is the most widely known and popularized. Ancestry genomics uses the genome to trace where an individual’s ancestors came from, meaning which parts of the world. And what’s the relationship between families. Second is clinical genomics. This branch of genomics utilizes the genome to support the diagnosis of specific conditions, assessment of the risk of developing different diseases and conditions, and the response to various treatments under consideration. Clinical genomics is an area of intense scientific discovery across the globe, because its far reaching implications for the health and wellness of every individual. The third major category is tumor genomics. We elevate this one to its own category outside of clinical genomics, both because of the intense amount of research and the nature of the field. Various cancers and tumors have unique characteristics, and the breadth and depth of diagnostic tools, targeted therapies that are based on tumor genomics, and the use of genomic sequencing technology and disease surveillance over the longer term, make it a separate branch in and of itself.

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