Bioinformatic Challenges Detecting Genetic Variation in Precision Medicine Programs

Matt A. Field

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Precision medicine programs to identify clinically relevant genetic variation have been revolutionized by access to increasingly affordable high-throughput sequencing technologies. A decade of continual drops in per-base sequencing costs means it is now feasible to sequence an individual patient genome and interrogate all classes of genetic variation for < $1,000 USD. However, while advances in these technologies have greatly simplified the ability to obtain patient sequence information, the timely analysis and interpretation of variant information remains a challenge for the rollout of large-scale precision medicine programs. This review will examine the challenges and potential solutions that exist in identifying predictive genetic biomarkers and pharmacogenetic variants in a patient and discuss the larger bioinformatic challenges likely to emerge in the future. It will examine how both software and hardware development are aiming to overcome issues in short read mapping, variant detection and variant interpretation. It will discuss the current state of the art for genetic disease and the remaining challenges to overcome for complex disease. Success across all types of disease will require novel statistical models and software in order to ensure precision medicine programs realize their full potential now and into the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number806696
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2022


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