23andMe has a Populations Collaborations Program

23andMe has launched its Populations Collaborations Program. The goal is to expand diversity in genomic research. To do this, 23andMe is partnering with researchers across the globe to genotype people in communities that are underrepresented in genetic research.

23andMe explained more about why they chose to launch their Populations Collaborations Program.

“Everyone, no matter their ethnicity, should benefit from the scientific insights we gain through research but that hasn’t happened because of a lack of diversity in biomedical and genetic research. Underrepresented communities already frequently experience less access to health care and poorer outcomes, and because there are fewer studies among these underrepresented populations those disparities are compounded.”

The Populations Collaborations Program is aimed at researchers. 23andMe wants to work with researchers who seek to genotype a population that is underrepresented in genetic studies. 23andMe is accepting applications from US-based researchers, and will review these to select proposals for the limited number of collaborative projects they initiate annually. The deadline for applications from researchers is June 30, 2018.

23andMe is most interested in collaborations that seek to genotype between 300 and 1,000 research participants, including 50 – 100 individuals from any given ethnolinguistic group. 23andMe wants the researcher to already have a study plan in place and be interested in the possibility of including a genetic component in their analysis.

The researcher is to be responsible for obtaining both saliva and basic demographic information about the research participants. This includes their age and sex, as well as the birthplaces, ethnic affiliations, and language(s) spoken by the participants, their parents, and grandparents.

23andMe is going to provide individual-level genotype data for the researcher’s participants. 23andMe uses a chip called the Illumina Global Screening Array (GSA), one of the Illumina Human Consortia arrays.

It is important to 23andMe to protect the privacy of research participants. Data sharing between 23andMe and researchers is structured to provide the same robust privacy protections that 23andMe Research participants have as part of participating in 23andMe research.

Only data from research participants who have agreed to 23andMe’s approved project-specific consent(s), which will always be consistent with 23andMe’s Research consent that has been approved by their IRB, will be incorporated into any analysis. Any data sharing will be in accordance with the terms of the Agreement between 23andMe and the research collaborator’s institution.

Related Articles at FamilyTree.com:

* 23andMe Adds FHI Carrier Status Report

* 23andMe has FDA Approval for Genetic Test for Breast Cancer

* 23andMe Expands Ancestry Composition – Adds 120 Regions

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