Personalized Genomic Medicine

PGM brochure

Download a copy of our personalized genomic medicine brochure 


What is personalized genomic medicine (PGM)?

Personalized genomic medicine is a way to improve your health using your family history, medical history, genetic information, and lifestyle

The four Ps of personalized genomic medicine are:

  • Personalized: risks are uniquely yours
  • Predictive: predicts the chances of developing certain disorders
  • Preventative: based on genetic test results and specific lifestyle behaviors, offers healthy solutions to decrease disease risk
  • Participatory: requires your involvement

What is genetic information?

Information about your genome (your DNA), which includes:

  • Family health history
  • Diseases and risks of health problems that run in your family
  • Family stories

What is a genetic test?

Genetic tests look at changes in your DNA that cause disease or put you at increased risk to develop disease.

What is the human genome?

  • The human genome contains all of a person's genetic information
  • It is made of DNA
  • It is a series of 3 billion base pairs, the building blocks of DNA
  • Base pairs consist of letters (A, C, G, T) that are the code to make 20,000 to 30,000 genes
  • Genes are the instructions for our bodies

What can personalized genomic medicine do for me?

  • It may help diagnose a disease you already have
  • It may help your doctor decide which medicine and how much of that medicine will work best for you (pharmacogenomics)
  • It may tell you if you are at risk to develop a disease in the future

What kind of diseases can personalized genomic medicine tell me about?

  • Diseases that run in your family
  • Rare diseases
  • Common diseases such as diabetes, which are caused by both DNA changes and your environment

What can personalized genomic medicine not tell me?

  • We do not fully understand all diseases at this time
  • We do not fully understand all genes or all of their changes at this time
  • It cannot tell you when you will develop disease
  • It may or may not be able to tell you how severe the disease will be

Why haven't I heard of personalized genomic medicine until now?

  • Scientists and doctors are using recent research discoveries to improve medical care
  • Recently, new DNA tests make studying your DNA easier, faster, and cheaper than in the past
  • The new tests can give detailed information about:< >Specific genes (targeted sequence capture)All of the genes that make proteins in a person (whole exome sequencing)All of the DNA in your genome (whole genome sequencing)The Iowa Institute of Human Genetics (IIHG) was approved by the state of Iowa Board of Regents in August 2012
  • The mission of the IIHG is to bring PGM to the state of Iowa
  • PGM tests offered by the IIHG include but are not limited to:< >Targeted disease panels for a group of diseasesPharmacogenomic testing (determines medicine dosage based on genes)Whole exome sequencing (screens many genes at once)Education for all Iowans on genetics and PGM

How do I learn more about personalized genomic medicine?