Biomedical research has been increasingly informed by the reductionist notion that genotype=phenotype. This view persists even though the “common-disease common-variant” hypothesis has been rejected as an unintended and unexpected finding of the Human Genome Project. It also reflects deep ignorance of ideas from fields like integrative physiology and epidemiology on biological redundancy and the nature of human phenotypic variation.
In parallel, the genotype=phenotype worldview has also led to the breeding or engineering of rodent models where genotype does equal phenotype. These models then lead to false discoveries of treatments or “cures” that fail in clinical trials. In my presentation, I will critique both the current biomedical research landscape and discuss alternate approaches.