This project is suitable for PhD students only. Some experience in biostatistics and data analysis is essential, and a background in epidemiology, health economics, and/or public health is highly desirable. It is important to note that this project involves communicating research findings to external stakeholders and people from different cultural backgrounds. Therefore, demonstration of strong interpersonal skills will be highly desirable.
Genomics research is an important field that can provide insights into the genetic underpinnings of human diseases and inform personalized treatments. However, there is a growing recognition that genomics research has not been conducted equitably across diverse populations. The historically Eurocentric bias in genomics research has resulted in a lack of representation of non-European populations in important genetic discoveries. This has significant implications for health equity and precision medicine, as genetic variations can impact disease susceptibility and response to treatment differently across populations. Therefore, it is crucial to address the factors that drive disparities in genomics research on diverse populations.
This project aims to examine the opportunities and challenges for conducting human genetic research on age-related disorders in diverse ancestries. This includes identifying factors related to the implementation of state-of-the-art statistical genetics, understanding the dynamics of data transfer versus knowledge transfer in genomic research, and identifying common as well as unique challenges generating disparities in research capacity in various communities with diverse ancestries.
The candidate will be trained to work on multi-ancestry genetic data through various applications in age-related human diseases using readily available datasets and upcoming resources. They will then examine both technical and non-technical aspects (perception of utility, culture, policy, and people) influencing the adoption of genetic research in various regions, using a wide range of research methodologies. This project is highly collaborative in nature and will involve working with other stakeholders of science, including health economists, policymakers, patients, and healthcare professionals, to validate research assumptions and derive equitable solutions. One tangible goal of this project is to develop a framework to guide capacity building for genetic research in communities of diverse ancestries.