Precision medicine is emerging as a scientific bandwagon within the contemporary biomedical sciences in the United States. PM brings together concepts and tools from genomics and bioinformatics to develop better diagnostics and therapies based on individualized information. Developing countries like China and Brazil have also begun pursuing PM projects, motivated by a desire to claim genomic sovereignty over its population. In spite of commonalities, institutional arrangements produced by the history of genomics research in China and Brazil are ushering PM along different trajectories. In the Chinese case, we identify a strong state-backed push for PM combined with a dynamic network of international academic and private actors along the lines of networked technonationalism that has made large-scale, speculative PM projects possible. The Brazilian case is characterized by an institutional void at the federal level in which PM is driven by domestic academic actors in universities in the regional level, resulting in smaller scale, needs-driven PM projects. Through these cases, this paper shows how a scientific bandwagon adapts to national histories and institutions. Through this peripheral translation of the scientific bandwagon, the global infrastructure of biomedical knowledge has the potential to be transformed.
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DOI 10.1177/0162243920930282
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