The Silent Genomes project


Filling in the blanks of Indigenous medical history through DNA research

Genome Canada recently announced 10.4 million in funding to a program out of UBC working to close gaps in health care for Indigenous communities. Specifically, this funding will go to the research genome sequencing project. The project, co-lead by Dr. Nadine Caron, an associate professor with UBC’s Northern Medical Program, aims to create a database of background genetic variations, to be useful for Indigenous populations living in Canada, and internationally. Caron explains how Indigenous peoples seeking specialized genomic treatment are at a disadvantage to non-Indigenous peoples due to the lack of, what Caron calls a library of Indigenous DNA. This level of research has not been done before, and Caron hopes this research will lead towards a more equitable health care system.

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