Towards precision prevention: Technologies for identifying healthy individuals with high risk of disease

Zachary D. Nagel, Bevin P. Engelward, David J. Brenner, Thomas J. Begley, Robert W. Sobol, Jason H. Bielas, Peter J. Stambrook, Qingyi Wei, Jennifer J. Hu, Mary Beth Terry, Caroline Dilworth, Kimberly A. McAllister, Les Reinlib, Leroy Worth, Daniel T. Shaughnessy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The rise of advanced technologies for characterizing human populations at the molecular level, from sequence to function, is shifting disease prevention paradigms toward personalized strategies. Because minimization of adverse outcomes is a key driver for treatment decisions for diseased populations, developing personalized therapy strategies represent an important dimension of both precision medicine and personalized prevention. In this commentary, we highlight recently developed enabling technologies in the field of DNA damage, DNA repair, and mutagenesis. We propose that omics approaches and functional assays can be integrated into population studies that fuse basic, translational and clinical research with commercial expertise in order to accelerate personalized prevention and treatment of cancer and other diseases linked to aberrant responses to DNA damage. This collaborative approach is generally applicable to efforts to develop data-driven, individualized prevention and treatment strategies for other diseases. We also recommend strategies for maximizing the use of biological samples for epidemiological studies, and for applying emerging technologies to clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-28
Number of pages15
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Comet
  • DNA damage
  • DNA damage response
  • DNA repair
  • H2AX
  • Host cell reactivation
  • Precision medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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