Serghei Mangul, PhD, an assistant professor of clinical pharmacy at the USC Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, has been awarded a five-year $3.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The money will support the efforts of his lab to develop new software and databases that will better integrate information on varying immune responses among diverse populations.

Mangul noted that limiting studies to people of European ancestry ignores entire branches of data on genetic mutations relative to immune responses, thus hampering efforts to study how ancestral mutations affect the health of present-day people of color.

Therefore, expanding the racial and ethnic diversity of such databases is crucial for a thorough understanding of human immunology. For example, resolving the lack of disparity in this data could explain the higher rates of aggressive cancers and resulting mortality among Black populations, making way for more equitable and effective care in the future.

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