Background Rapid means to discover and enumerate unknown mutations in the exons of human genes on a pangenomic scale are needed to discover the genes carrying inherited risk for common diseases or the genes in which somatic mutations are required for clonal diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancers. The method of constant denaturing capillary electrophoresis (CDCE) permitted sensitive detection and enumeration of unknown point mutations but labor-intensive optimization procedures for each exonic sequence made it impractical for application at a pangenomic scale. Results A variant denaturing capillary electrophoresis protocol, cycling temperature capillary electrophoresis (CTCE), has eliminated the need for the laboratory optimization of separation conditions for each target sequence. Here are reported the separation of wild type mutant homoduplexes from wild type/mutant heteroduplexes for 27 randomly chosen target sequences without any laboratory optimization steps. Calculation of the equilibrium melting map of each target sequence attached to a high melting domain (clamp) was sufficient to design the analyte sequence and predict the expected degree of resolution. Conclusion CTCE provides practical means for economical pangenomic detection and enumeration of point mutations in large-scale human case/control cohort studies. We estimate that the combined reagent, instrumentation and labor costs for scanning the ~250,000 exons and splice sites of the ~25,000 human protein-coding genes using automated CTCE instruments in 100 case cohorts of 10,000 individuals each are now less than U.S. $500 million, less than U.S. $500 per person.