Genomics is the analysis of the sequence, structure and function of the genome, and it is seen as a significant improvement in personalized health. Its purpose is to explore the implications, challenges and opportunities associated with the use of genomic information, focusing on the newborn period.

This office works closely with the Newborn Screening section, which identifies infants at risk for more than 50 inherited diseases by testing a small blood spot obtained from a simple heel-stick shortly after birth. Similarly, it works with the Maternal Screening program to identify babies at increased risk of developmental delays with the intent of improving delivery and outcomes.

“Science makes the breakthroughs. Public Health operationalizes them and leaps ahead.”—WHO DIRECTOR-GENERAL DR. MARGARET CHEN


  • Measured and assessed timeliness in newborn screening to improve the opportunity for clinical interventions.

  • Continued to analyze and assess child health and subsequent educational achievement in school, and identified mechanisms leading to early labor and/or delivery as well as complications that commonly occur in preterm infants.

Other Units in the Office of the Director

The Office of the Director consists of 10 key functional units that enable the State Hygienic Laboratory to achieve its statutory charge set forth in the Iowa Administrative Code.

The primary mission of the Disease Control Division is to test human specimens, food and water for diseases of public health significance to protect the citizens of Iowa.

The Environmental Health Division monitors drinking water, wastewater, air, soil and food for contaminants of potential environmental and public health concern.

The Division of Administration and Finance is responsible for the management of the business practices, all Hygienic Laboratory facilities, and pre/post testing support.