USC researchers working on diverse genome data

first_imgUSC researchers are working to change how genomic data used for studying disease has been skewed to reflect white people. USC researchers in the Department of Translational Genomics are working with the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center toward more representative genome data.According to USC researchers in the Department of Translational Genomics, diversity among different racial and ethnic groups lies not only in culture, but also in genetic backgrounds. Because of this, certain illnesses disproportionately affect specific ethnic groups or demographics. Additionally, with language barriers and the lack of health care available to some ethnic minority groups, these populations have been more prone to these diseases. As a result, researchers are working with the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center to attain a complete array of samples from Los Angeles’ population. “LAC’s collaboration with USC empowers researchers to study a clinical problem with accessibility to samples that are more representative of the population,” USC assistant professor Zarko Manojlovic told USC News. Manojlovic is the director of the USC Keck Genetic Platform,  which gives researchers at the University the ability to use DNA sequencing to provide answers to specific questions in research, according to USC News. The research team can use this platform for genomic research to process samples containing highly degraded nucleic acid species. Equipped with the NovaSeq sequencer, genomic studies can be performed faster and at a lower cost. “Between these capabilities and our in-house infrastructure, KGP will deliver a large reduction in cost,” Manojlovic told USC News. “This will let USC researchers ask more questions, to better understand and treat diseases.” KGP is one of many steps needed in order to properly attend to patients of all demographics, researchers said. Researchers will need to expand their studies to biomedical informatics, sample processing, computational infrastructure and expertise in data sets. “We will be able to answer questions that will have clinical impact across a true representation of the majority of the U.S. population,” John Carpten, director of the Institute of Translational Genomics, told USC News. “KGP will serve as the platform to help USC become the leading researching institute in the nation, and in the future of medicine.”last_img read more