The African Diaspora: Integrating Culture, Genomics and History

Reposted from NIH, SNMNH, NARA Feb 5, 2019

The African Diaspora

September 12, 2013

Baird Auditorium
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution
10th Street and Constitution Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20560

The National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the National Museum of Natural History held a full-day symposium that brought together scholars, scientists and practitioners from various disciplines who are exploring the African Diaspora throughout historical, cultural and genomic lenses with the purpose of understanding a person’s ancestry and how that impacts individual health and collective identity.

The symposium’s objectives were to foster interdisciplinary dialog on what we can learn about:

  • Ancestral history from genomic information and historical records.
  • Ethnic identity and cultural diversity from historical and genomic information.
  • The arts and culture from ancestral information.
YouTube video

 Video Playlist

1Welcome and Introductions VideoKirk Johnson, Ph.D.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D.

Lonnie G. Bunch III
Smithsonian National Museum of African American

Vence Bonham, Jr., J.D.
2Setting the Stage for Understanding Ancestry of African Americans (Panel) VideoModerator: Corey Dade
The Root

Panelists:Sarah Tiskoff, Ph.D., University of PennsylvaniaLinda Heywood, Ph.D., Boston UniversityMichael Blakey, Ph.D., College of William and Mary
3Genealogical Methods: Using Historical Records (Introduction) VideoWilliam Pretzer, Ph.D.
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
4Library of Congress African American Collections VideoAhmed Johnson
Library of Congress
5African American Genealogical Research at the National Archives VideoDamani Davis
National Archives and Records Administration
6Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture VideoSteven Fullwood
Shomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
7Using DNA to Explore Ancestry (Introduction) VideoMark Shriver, Ph.D.
Penn State University
8Synthesizing Genetic and Genealogical Data to Elucidate African American Ancestry VideoJake Byrnes, Ph.D.
9Inference of Ancestry of African Americans from Autosomal DNA VideoJoanna Mountain, Ph.D.
10Using DNA to Explore African Ancestry VideoRick Kittles, Ph.D.
University of Illinois
11Using DNA to Explore African Ancestry (Panel) VideoPanelists:Rick Kittles, Ph.D., University of IllinoisJoanna Mountain, Ph.D., 23andMeJake Byrnes, Ph.D., Ancestry.comMark Shriver, Ph.D., Penn State University
12Identity and Genetics (Introduction) VideoYolanda Moses, Ph.D.
University of California, Riverside
13The Social Life of DNA VideoAlondra Nelson, Ph.D.
Columbia University
14Consuming Genetic Ancestry VideoSandra Soo-Jin Lee, Ph.D.
Stanford University
15Ancestry and Health (Introduction) VideoCharles Rotimi, Ph.D.
16Medical Importance of Ancestry Training VideoEsteban Gonzales Burchard, M.D., M.P.H.
University of California, San Francisco
17The Confounding of Ancestry and Health VideoAravinda Chakravarti, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University
18Population Genetics in the Personal Genome Era VideoCarlos Bustamante, Ph.D.
Stanford University
19Ancestry and Health (Panel) VideoPanelists:Carlos Bustamante, Ph.D., Stanford UniversityAravinda Chakravarti, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins UniversityEsteban Gonzales Burchard, Ph.D., University of California, San FranciscoCharles Rotimi, Ph.D., NHGRI
20Arts, Ancestry and Culture (Introduction) VideoJohnetta Cole, Ph.D.
National Museum of African Art
Smithsonian Institution
21Arts, Ancestry and Culture VideoCheryl Finley, Ph.D.
Cornell University
22Arts, Ancestry and Culture VideoCarla Williams, M.F.A.
Rochester Institute of Technology
23American Cypher Project VideoMendi Obadike, Ph.D.
Pratt Institute

Keith Obadike, M.F.A.
William Patterson College
24Report of the American Society of Human Genetics Ancestry (Introduction) VideoVence Bonham, Jr., J.D.
25Report from the ASHG Roundtable on Genetic Ancestry Inference VideoMalia Fullerton, Ph.D.
University of Washington
26Report from the ASHG Roundtable on Genetic Ancestry Inference VideoCharmanine Royal, Ph.D.
Duke University
27Report from the ASHG Roundtable on Genetic Ancestry Inference (Panel) VideoModerator: Malia Fullerton, Ph.D.
University of Washington

Panelists:Charmaine Royal, Ph.D., Duke UniversityMichael Bamshad, M.D., University of Washington

Last Updated: May 29, 2014

Global Genetics Project


Fast Recruitment for 23andMe’s Global Genetics Project

December 3, 2018 By 23andMe under 23andMe Research

In less than a year 23andMe has surpassed its annual goal in recruiting individuals for the Global Genetics Project, which will help diversify our research database and drive the inclusion of understudied populations.

This rapid recruitment came despite many of the participants coming from communities for which 23andMe previously had few or no reference data. Launched in early 2018, the Global Genetics Project aims to enroll more than 10,000 people over two years from communities in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, who are not currently well represented in genetic research. The data will help diversify 23andMe’s database and thus improve results for our customers. It will also boost genomic studies in underrepresented populations worldwide.

“We’re encouraged by how quickly we have been able to recruit so many participants,” said Joanna Mountain, Ph.D., 23andMe Senior Director for Research. “Part of 23andMe’s mission is to ensure that everyone, no matter their ancestry, benefits from the insights being gained from the human genome.”

Improve Results

23andMe has undertaken this initiative primarily to improve results we provide to our customers from different ethnic groups, but also to help diversify the genetic research we do. Currently, more than 90 percent of research into the genetics underlying health conditions is on individuals of European descent alone.

The Global Genetics Project is not the only effort 23andMe is undertaking to improve diversity in research; we are also collaborating with individual academic researchers working with even more understudied communities across Africa, Asia, and the Americas. 23andMe’s Populations Collaborations Program has already helped researchers collect data from populations in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola. Next year our team will announce new collaborations with scientists working with other underrepresented communities in Africa.

Diversity Initiatives

The Global Genetics Project and the Populations Collaboration Program are part of a years-long effort to improve diversity in our genetics research. This effort goes back almost eight years, to when 23andMe launched its Roots into the Future initiative. For that work, 23andMe enrolled 10,000 African Americans interested in participating in genetic research, to garner more insights into health conditions among African Americans. Then in 2016, 23andMe created the African Genetics Project, to study people with recent African ancestry. More recently our researchers have been working with the National Human Genome Research Institute on an African American Sequencing Project, to create a new reference panel for health studies by qualified researchers around the world.

The Global Genetics Project is part of this same effort to improve diversity in genetic research so that more people can benefit from future scientific breakthroughs. These efforts will enrich not only our understanding of human genetic diversity but also yield insights relevant to individuals from some of the communities who are underrepresented in genetic research.

Check out the landing page here to learn more. Tags: African American Sequencing ProjectAfrican Genetics ProjectdiversityFeaturedGlobal Genetics ProjectPopulations CollaborationresearchRoots Into The Future

%d bloggers like this: