Francis S. Collins is the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health
With the sequencing of the genomes of Homo sapiens and a wide array of other organisms, biology has emerged as a truly quantitative science. Researchers from all realms of biology - from botany to zoology - can now tap vast troves of genomic information available in free, public databases. Still, what excites me the most is the potential of this genome-based, quantitative approach to transform biomedical research and, ultimately, health care.
I am scientist, but also a physician. Since the early deliberations about the Human Genome Project nearly 20 years ago, I have dreamed of the day when we would be able to apply the tools of genomics to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of common diseases....