NIH-funded project will investigate genetic susceptibilities in minority populations
Kari North, PhD, has received a four-year, $3.1 million National Institutes of Health grant that aims to uncover connections between genetic variants and some of the complex diseases that affect Hispanics and African-Americans.
North is associate professor of epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health.
The grant program, CALICO II, or Genetic Epidemiology of Causal Variants Across the Life Course (Phase II), will produce analysis of DNA collected from several large studies that include African-American and Hispanic participants. The findings will pinpoint rare variants that might play a part in heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
Previous genomic studies of this sort have been conducted with non-diverse populations. The researchers intend to study ancestrally diverse populations, particularly those often underrepresented in disease research and who suffer the greatest disease burden, to understand the total pool of genes and genetic variants likely to affect disease susceptibility.