Correspondence | Published:

Ethnicity

Diversity is future for genetic analysis

Nature volume 540, page 341 (15 December 2016) | Download Citation

The Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) study, to which I contribute, is overcoming some of the technical challenges of multi-ethnic genomic analyses (see A. B. Popejoy and S. M. Fullerton Nature 538, 161–164; 2016). It is yielding findings that are unattainable for homogeneous populations.

PAGE, funded by the US National Institutes of Health, uses genome-wide analyses of 50,000 phenotyped participants of mainly Hispanic and African ancestry. We aggregate results across several studies: for example, two are multi-ethnic, one involves only women and one is designed to address under-representation of Hispanic people (see go.nature.com/2hity2j).

We collaborated with other initiatives, including the Consortium on Asthma among African-ancestry Populations in the Americas, to develop an unbiased genotyping array for use across all major continental populations (www.pagestudy.org/mega). Statistical tools such as SUGEN (D. Y. Lin et al. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 95, 675–688; 2014) and GENESIS (M. P. Conomos et al. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 98, 127–148; 2016) can account for the admixed ancestry of individuals (a significant factor in almost every US minority), and for cohorts that include many ancestries.

Leveraging sample diversity in these and other ways has maximized the power of our genetic analyses.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA.

    • Christopher S. Carlson

Authors

  1. Search for Christopher S. Carlson in:

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Christopher S. Carlson.

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/540341d

Comments

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