Correspondence | Published:

Community genetics

Genetics boosts US–Cuban links

Nature volume 539, page 357 (17 November 2016) | Download Citation


As economic doors open between the United States and Cuba, human genetics offers one promising area for scientific collaboration (see Nature 537, 600–603; 2016). Reversing 50 years of restriction remains a formidable task — particularly with scant financial and human resources.

Community genetics is incorporated into Cuba's health-care system. As in the United States, prenatal genetic testing, screening of newborns and clinical genetics services are all available. Comparative studies on US and Cuban populations could help to clarify the genetic contribution to disease — for example, by revealing rare inherited genomic variants.

Miami is one of the best-positioned US cities to lead such scientific partnerships, given its social and cultural ties with Cuba (Florida is home to 66% of the US Cuban population). At the University of Miami's Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, we are working to develop exchange programmes with medical institutions in Cuba. These mutual learning opportunities should foster multidisciplinary research partnerships in the next generation of medical geneticists.

Author information


  1. University of Miami, Florida, USA.

    • Rosario Isasi
    •  & Stephan L. Zuchner
  2. University of Medical Sciences, Matanzas, Cuba.

    • Roberto Cañete Villafranca


  1. Search for Rosario Isasi in:

  2. Search for Stephan L. Zuchner in:

  3. Search for Roberto Cañete Villafranca in:

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rosario Isasi.

About this article

Publication history




By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing