Nicola Mulder, "Challenges in Large-Scale Genomics Research in Africa"

Nicola Mulder, "Challenges in Large-Scale Genomics Research in Africa"
February 15, 2022 - 10:00 AM

Feb. 15 (Tuesday) at 10:00 EST: Nicola Mulder (Prof. and Head of Computational Biology (CBIO) division, Univ. Cape Town): “Challenges in Large-Scale Genomics Research in Africa

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Abstract: Genomics research has enormous potential for addressing several of the sustainable development goals, including health and well-being. With ever-evolving technologies, data generation is becoming cheaper and thus more accessible to researchers globally, however the data volume and complexity is increasing, limiting the feasibility of large genomics studies in resource limited settings, such as many African countries. Through the H3Africa consortium and other recent African genomics initiatives, the scientific community has recognized and set out to address many of these challenges. This talk will discuss some of the challenges from data generation to access and barriers to sharing, and will highlight some of the recent solutions.


About the series: As the Covid-19 pandemic has made very clear, the global health system is marked by deep inequities. For example, while over half of eligible adults in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, that number is in the low single digits across most of the global South. These inequities also occur at the level of research.  For example, one study found that the percentage of journal articles about trials in low and middle income countries (LMICs) with first authors from those countries declined from 1990-2013.  Another found that African authors were underrepresented in research done in Africa; most of those African authors who were represented had an affiliation in an Anglophone country.  A third found that 20% of papers about Covid-19 in Africa had no African authors.  We propose to explore this disparity in the representation of researchers from LMICs in medical research, both to draw attention to it and to explore its causes and possible solutions.  Taking advantage of the affordances of the online format, we hope specifically to include events in which African and other LMIC researchers can speak to the exclusions and disparities they face in their own research. Talks will be archived on the Center's YouTube Channel.