Genetic Research: The Role of Citizens, Public Health and International Stakeholders

Piergiorgio Fedeli1, Claudia Casella2, Claudio Buccelli2, Nunzia Cannovo2, *, Vincenzo Graziano2
1 Jurisprudence School, University of Camerino, Via A. D'Accorso 16, Camerino (MC), Italy
2 Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, University of Naples 'Federico II', Via Sergio Pansini 5, Naples, Italy

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© 2019 Fedeli et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, University of Naples 'Federico II', Via Sergio Pansini 5, Naples, Italy; Tel: 00393389910727; E-mail:



Genetic research has become an indispensable instrument for medical research, and the subjects involved have both divergent and convergent interests.


The possibility of having more detailed genetic information undoubtedly offers benefits for the health of the subject, but could also pose risks and make the subject vulnerable to discrimination.


The scientific community has viewed very favorably the public health utility of family history, in which data from a family whose members suffer from chronic pathologies is collected and filed, in order to develop a sort of “stratification of family risk.”

Even though in the last decade the scientific and juridical literature has contributed greatly to the topic of biobanks, the perplexities that continue to surround this theme give the idea that current ethical protocols on research are inadequate.


Researchers, citizens, International stakeholders, mass media, Public Health and Governments play a key role in genetic research. It is obvious that the methods used for genetic research do not present intrinsic risks; they are much less dangerous than other activities of diagnosis and research. Before authorizing a research project, it is important to reflect on the responsibility and transparency of the studies to be conducted, and on the impact they may have on the interests of public health.


We believe that the highest priority need is to develop a common language on the theme, as is the case in the sphere of clinical experimentation where rules of good clinical practice, albeit at times conflicting, have led to uniform convergences in the scientific world on the points to be actuated.

Keywords: Biobanks, Genetics research, Role of citizens, International stakeholders, Public health, Chronic pathologies.