Pharmacogenetics is firmly focused on understanding how genetic variations in molecular processes in cells are linked to human drug responses. After biologists learned how cells read and express the information encoded in the genome, many new genes and gene-based drug targets were discovered, and new therapeutic agents were developed. Having reached a point at which many of the molecular complexities of human drug responses were understood, the field has been transformed in the last few years from a descriptive science to a predictive science. Pharmacogenetics, like most other biological fields, is primarily data driven, without which attempts at prediction would fail. Looking to the future, consideration is given in this chapter to a number of newer topics and recent observations that are likely to facilitate pharmacogenomic research, further the prospects and promise of personalized medicine, advance the understanding of human genetic variation, and expand the horizons of drug discovery.
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