Scientists have long been studying the role that genes play in determining an individual’s risk for disease with a focus on individuals of European ancestry, which were easy to sample. The National Institutes of Health is now funding a consortium to look at how the data differs in diverse population segments, which has important implications when it comes to patient treatment. David Conti, PhD, and professor of preventive medicine at Keck School of Medicine of USC, and his research partners, have just been awarded $5 million.
Conti, along with Christopher Haiman, ScD, a professor of preventive medicine at Keck School of Medicine and AFLAC chair of cancer research, plan to construct and evaluate polygenic risk scores, or PRS, for cancer across a variety of racial and ethnic groups. Their goal is to provide information to the health system that could help reduce health disparity.
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