Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms
Lawrence C. Brody, Ph.D. defines Genomics
Genomics refers to the study of the entire genome of an organism whereas genetics refers to the study of a particular gene.
Genomics refers to the study of the entire genome, essentially all the genes that can be found in an organism. It's in contrast to genetics which can study individual genes one at a time. A genomicist, or someone who studies genomes, studies all of the DNA and all of the sequence in an organism and makes conclusions based on all of it. Whereas a geneticist can study all of the DNA in an organism, but can also study one gene at a time. For example, you might study the genetics of a single gene and sequence that gene. If you wanted to study the genomics of an organism or a person you could sequence all of their genes and all of their DNA and look for changes and make comparisons with other individual's genomes.
Lawrence C. Brody, Ph.D.
Chief & Senior Investigator, Genome Technology Branch; Head, Molecular Pathogenesis Section
Dr. Brody investigates the genetics of breast cancer and neural tube defects. As chief of the NHGRI Genome Technology Branch's Molecular Pathogenesis section, he is interested in studying genetic mutations that lead to perturbations in normal metabolic pathways and cause disorders such as cancer and birth defects. His laboratory investigates mutations in two breast cancer-linked genes, breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). Dr. Brody's laboratory was among the first to report that women carrying BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations have a higher risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer than women without such mutations.