Wednesday, July 09, 2008

NIH Intramural Center for Genomics and Health Disparities

There's an interview in Nature Medicine with the director, Charles Rotimi, of this newly established NIH center.
We collect demographic and migrational information from our study participants, including Africans and African-Americans. This information enables us to develop models to test how 'old' genes from Africa work in new environments such as the United States to increase our risk for diseases or to protect us from getting certain diseases. We also collect information on diet and data relating to education and income. But I would say that most of the very critical factors in term of health disparity are things to do with social structure, the communities where people live, and social factors such as racism. These are extremely difficult factors for a setup like ours to fully capture. But there are other groups we intend to collaborate with who can help address such questions.
He cautions against using racial labels in medicine and medical research, and briefly discusses the BiDIL controversy.

1 comment:

Irshad said...

This is a unique type of study to stop diseases whereas the use of genetics are very usefull for the cure of many disease.

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