BioMed Research International

Recent Advances in Understanding the Role of Genomic and Epigenomic Factors in Noncommunicable Diseases

Publishing date
01 Mar 2019
Submission deadline
02 Nov 2018

1Dhaka University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

2Institute for Developing Science and Health Initiatives, Dhaka, Bangladesh

3Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, USA

Recent Advances in Understanding the Role of Genomic and Epigenomic Factors in Noncommunicable Diseases


Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are characterized by the medical conditions or disease states that are not caused by infectious agents and thereby are noninfectious and nontransmissible. NCDs were largely ignored when the framework of Millennium Development Goals was set in the year 2000. However, with ever increasing ageing population, NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer contribute immensely to the global disease burden and preventable deaths worldwide and have forced the policymakers to pay attention. In the developed countries, NCDs have taken the center stage of healthcare system due to their increased prevalence, morbidity, and mortality. The decreased cost and increased accessibility of health-related resources have resulted in the higher life expectancy in the low- and middle-income countries and are contributing to population ageing. The global burden of NCDs such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer poses major challenges to the healthcare systems of all countries, killing 40 million people each year, equivalent to 70% of all deaths globally according to World Health Organization (WHO). Most NCDs have complex etiology involving many interconnected genes, apart from environmental and lifestyle influences. An individual may perfectly be healthy and disease-free at birth but remain susceptible of acquiring the disease at certain age. The susceptibility to a particular disease can be caused by the presence of one or multiple genetic mutations and epigenetic alterations. Extensive work focusing on the genomics/epigenomics of major noncommunicable diseases, like cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease has been done. Manifestation tendency of cardiovascular disease in various communities highlights the vital role of genetic predisposition. For example, African communities tend to suffer from strokes as a result of cardiovascular disease, while South Asians tend to have heart attacks. With advancement of genomics technique, we are now beginning to understand the genetic predisposition to NDCs and awareness of lifestyle modifications that either intensify the condition or lessen the potential for diseases (i.e., no smoking or drinking) is necessary for the public in order to make informed choices. Moreover, untangling the molecular mechanism of prominent NDCs such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer by genomics/epigenomics and transcriptomics approach may help us to identify candidate genes for early diagnosis and therapeutic intervention. Improving the early detection and targeted therapeutic approach for NCDs will be the major challenge of biomedical research in the 21st century.

This special issue encourages scientists, health professionals, and physicians from developed and developing countries alike to contribute their high-quality research work on genomics/epigenomics of wide spectrum of NCDs ranging from diabetes to cardiovascular diseases and cancers, as well as common and rare genetic disorders. The original research articles can be based on fundamental biology, epidemiological surveys, and clinical data linked to the genetic aspects of NDCs. The authors will be encouraged to state how their studies, biological or clinical in nature, will benefit patient-care systems by understanding the genetics studies. We also hope to attract review articles that exhaustively describe the prospect of novel and cutting-edge approaches in the field of genomics driven personalized medicine in combating NCDs.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Omics driven biomarker discovery and therapeutic intervention for NCDs
  • Genomics and epigenomics of NCDs
  • Proteomics studies of NCDs
  • Bioinformatics approaches to integrate the multiomics data to understand the molecular mechanism of NCDs
  • Metabolomics studies of NCDs
  • Personalized medicine for NCDs
  • Clinical studies
  • Epidemiological surveys
  • Molecular methodology for NCDs
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