Genomics is being increasingly utilized in medical research and health care. Countless opportunities exist for social and behavioral scientists to answer novel and important research questions. Evidence that will be produced from such enquiries can help ensure appropriate use of genomic information and realize the potential of genomics to improve patient care and medical outcomes. Here, we provide an accessible overview of different types of genetic and genomic tests and the resulting information produced. There are important nuances that distinguish genetic from genomic tests and different information that each yield. We outline key examples where social and behavioral scientists have made an impact in this field, and opportunities for future research. The intention of this primer is to introduce or clarify genomics concepts to social and behavioral scientists, summarize prior research and outline future research directions. The time is ripe for social and behavioral scientists to engage in genomics and make important contributions to improve clinical and community translation of genomic discoveries.
A primer in genomics for social and behavioral investigators