Human genomics in global health

WHO EURO Gilles Reboux

Genomics is the study of the structure and action of the genome, i.e. the sum total of genetic material present in an organism. Genetics is the study of heredity and of the mechanisms by which genetic factors are transmitted from one generation to the next.

WHO's Human Genomics in Global Health Initiative aims to provide information and raise awareness within the health sector, governments and the wider public on the health challenges and opportunities within the rapidly developing science of human genomics. The initiative on Human Genomics in Global Health builds on the previous work of the Human Genetics programme and the Initiative on Genomics & Public Health. It is under the responsibility of the Department of Service Delivery and Safety working across the Organization, with WHO Collaborating Centres, NGOs and other international organizations active in this field. Embedded in the mandate provided by WHO Member States, it aims to share information and to develop innovative approaches in the field of human genetics and genomics.

About us

About WHO's Human Genomics in Global Health initiative

WHO recognizes the role of human genomics research and related biotechnologies to achieve a number of public health goals, such as to reduce global health inequalities by providing developing countries with efficient, cost-effective and robust means of preventing, diagnosing and treating major diseases that burden their populations. The initiative is housed in the Department of Service Delivery and Safety (SDS), within the Health Systems and Innovation (HIS) Cluster.

Tools and resources

Tools and resources

The science of genomics is moving rapidly forward. It is important that health professionals, policy-makers and the wider public can access relevant knowledge on genomic research and technologies. This section contains a selection of resources with up-to-date information on genomics.


International collaborations

List of WHO Collaborating Centres and Nongovernmental organizations working with WHO