Driving genetic data diversity in health research with Genes & Health
Our mission is to help all patients to prevail over serious diseases, but we can only unlock our full potential to achieve this when the trials we conduct reflect the patient populations we serve.
Queen Mary University of London, in partnership with King’s College London, started Genes & Health in East London in 2015. The large long-term study that aims to improve the diversity of genetic data used in health research.1 The project will examine the genes of 100,000 people of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin and link them with their health records.
In December 2021, along with six other life sciences companies, Bristol Myers Squibb jointly committed £25million of new funding towards the study to build on the successes so far. It hopes to provide findings that will better enable scientists to study disease and new treatments for people in these communities, especially because they face some of the worst health outcomes when compared with the rest of the population. For example, British South Asian people have the highest rates of heart disease in the UK and are six times as likely to have Type 2 diabetes than the rest of the UK population.1
The more diverse genetic data will be used by health researchers around the world, seeking to address the lack of diversity seen in today’s healthcare research1 and will equip scientists, doctors and policy-makers with the information they need to guide decisions about healthcare.1
1. Queen Mary, University of London; Available at: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/2022/smd/british-south-asian-genetic-study-reaches-record-volunteer-numbers.html. Last accessed June 2022.