Genetic Epidemiology of Diverse Populations
The majority of disease burden within the United States is found in minority populations, yet an overwhelming bulk of genetic studies have been conducted in European ancestry populations. To address this knowledge gap, well powered and large-scale genetic association studies of complex traits are needed in diverse global populations. I recently led the analysis of one of the largest non-European genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to-date in 50,000 multi-ethnic individuals across 26 common traits. As part of the Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE)-II Study, a total of 50,000 participants, self-identified primarily as Asian, Native Hawaiian, Hispanic/Latino, or African-American, were genotyped on a novel genotyping array.
In addition to leading development of the GWAS scaffold for the novel Multi-Ethnic Genotyping Array (MEGA), along with Illumina and an international academic consortium of researchers, I am currently leading efforts to characterize the extensive genetic mixture which occurs when previously-isolated populations meet (admixture) within these populations on both a continental and sub-continental level.