Genomics for the World: Enhancing Global Equity in Genomics Research


Event Details

Calls for diversity in genomics had motivated new global research collaborations across institutions with significantly imbalanced resources. Alicia R. Martin, Ph.D., shared practical insights gained by her and her colleagues at the BROAD Institute MIT and Harvard. They had worked on designing multidisciplinary, international research and capacity-building programs that prioritized equity. These programs were implemented across institutions in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and the United States, including the NeuroGAP-Psychosis research study and the GINGER training program.

Dr. Martin, who holds several prominent positions in the field of genetics and genomics, is an Assistant Investigator at the Analytic & Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, and an Associate Member at the Broad Institute. Her affiliation extends to the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research and the Medical and Population Genetics Program.

Dr. Martin's research primarily focuses on population and statistical genetics, examining how human history has shaped global genetic and phenotypic diversity. She is recognized for addressing the biases present in large-scale genetic studies, which have historically been Eurocentric. By developing statistical methods, community resources, and research capacities, she aims to ensure that genetic technologies such as polygenic risk scores do not exacerbate health disparities but are instead applicable and beneficial to globally diverse populations, especially those underrepresented in genetic studies.