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Family health history as a public health tool

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.

Details

Close date
Wednesday, 1 May 2019
Academic background
Health Sciences
Host campus
Wellington
Qualification
PhD
Department
Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Women's Health (Wellington)
Supervisor
Dr Sara Filoche

Overview

How many of us know our family health history, and how many of us share it with our General Practitioner? Angelina Jolie and Stan Walker do, and did – and it saved their lives. After sharing their strong family history of cancer, genetic testing found markers that put them at high risk of cancer; both had surgery to reduce that risk to almost zero. This illustrates how family health history is the first genomic test, but it is widely reported as being both poorly and infrequently collected. This is problematic as access to genomic testing is becoming easier and cheaper, even available direct to the public, and knowledge of family health history is imperative in wisely using this testing and interpretation of results. To establish family history as a public health tool, it needs to be evaluated within the ACCE framework (analytical validity; clinical validity; clinical utility; and ethical, legal, and social issues). The findings from this study will inform healthcare delivery as genomic medicine becomes more widely adopted in Aotearoa.

Contact

Dr Sara Filoche
Email   sara.filoche@otago.ac.nz