Emerging technology in molecular epidemiology: what epidemiologists need to know.

Epidemiology has evolved with the development of new molecular technologies that refine the way we investigate the relationships between exposure and disease. While these novel tools open new opportunities to delve into the mechanisms of the molecular epidemiologic continuum, they also come with the challenge of ensuring their meaningful application in epidemiologic investigations. To train successful molecular epidemiologists in the postgenome/epigenome era, we can look to the “lessons learned” when epidemiologists first integrated molecular biomarkers into traditional epidemiologic designs. These examples show how interdisciplinary training in molecular epidemiology programs can help ensure that new technologies are used effectively to understand the mechanisms driving exposure-disease relationships.

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