Underrepresented Populations Working Group
Lack of diversity is one of the critical challenges that the genetics field must overcome. To date, approximately 80% of all genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have been conducted in non-Hispanic Europeans. For example, Asians constitute 60% of the world population, but are represented only in 10% of the samples investigated. Latinos represent less than 0.5%, and for Africans, the number is even lower. These differences limit our insights into disease mechanisms and, importantly, create inequalities when newer diagnostic and therapeutic approaches are developed based on genetic information.
Our mission is to join forces to increase representation and decipher the genetic factors associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in non-European populations. We will promote recruitment of persons with PD and ethnically matched healthy controls from underrepresented populations. To add to the Monogenic working group’s efforts, we will identify multiplex families from underrepresented populations, and together with the Data Analysis working group we will help develop the analysis tools necessary to deal with our different and complex genetic admixture. We aim to build resources in the participating countries, including physical resources such as biobanks and training opportunities for local junior researchers. Alongside this we will include researchers, especially junior, to be actively involved in all analyses.
Progress so far
- Started trans-ethnic meta-analysis and fine mapping project
- Started document identifying the needs and gaps for URMs in GP2
- Provided URMs Parkinson’s families to the Monogenic pilot project
Remaining Year 1 Goals
- Report findings of trans-ethnic fine mapping