School of Social and Political Science

Research project type

Making Genomic Medicine

Principal investigator

Principal investigator



Genomic medicine emerged around the turn of the twenty-first century as a site of particularly intense activity in biomedical research and policy-making, driven in large part by expectations that developments in genomic science and technology would effect an epochal transformation in health care.

This Wellcome Trust-Funded project aims to locate these developments in historical perspective, by producing a comprehensive account of the socio-technical processes that resulted in the current ferment of activity around genomic medicine.

Beginning with post-war developments in medical genetics, the story will encompass not just dramatic developments in medical science and technology, but also shifts in the orientation of public health policy, changes in the organisation and funding of clinical science and medicine, the emergence of new pharmaceutical business models, changes in the regulatory environment for biomedicine, and the growing influence of patient groups.

Under the overall direction of the Principal Investigator, Prof Steve Sturdy, the project will pursue three inter-connected strands of historical analysis, each led by one of the three Research Fellows:

  1. Making genomic risk (Catherine Heeney)
  2. Genomicising drug discovery and development (Farah Huzair)
  3. The rise of rare diseases (Koichi Mikami)

The findings will be of more than just academic interest. By analysing the scientific and social factors that led to the emergence of genomic medicine, the project will help to frame and inform current debates about the future of biomedicine.

Research Team

Research themes

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