Pharmacogenomics discovery and implementation in genome-wide association studies era

Xiuqin Ni, Wei Zhang, R. Stephanie Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Clinical response to therapeutic treatments often varies among individual patients, ranging from beneficial effect to even fatal adverse reaction. Pharmacogenomics holds the promise of personalized medicine through elucidating genetic determinants responsible for pharmacological outcomes (e.g., cytotoxicities to anticancer drugs) and therefore guide the prescription decision prior to drug treatment. Besides traditional candidate gene-based approaches, technical advances have begun to allow application of whole-genome approaches to pharmacogenomic discovery. In particular, comprehensive understanding of human genetic variation provides the basis for applying GWAS (genome-wide association studies) in pharmacogenomic research to identify genomic loci associated with pharmacological phenotypes (e.g., individual dose requirement for warfarin). We therefore briefly reviewed the background for pharmacogenetic/pharmacogenomic research with statins and warfarin as examples for the GWAS discovery and their clinical implementation. In conclusion, with some challenges, whole-genome approaches such as GWAS have allowed unprecedented progress in identifying genetic variants associated with pharmacological phenotypes, as well as provided foundation for the next wave of pharmacogenomic discovery utilizing sequencing-based approaches. Furthermore, investigation of the complex interactions among genetic and epigenetic factors on the whole-genome scale will become the post-GWAS research focus for pharmacologic complex traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Systems Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)


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