Race and genetics: using genetics to fight health disparities

Oct 6, 2020 8:00 AM
Guest lecture
Online webinar

This webinar was designed to help educators educate students on the importance of genetics and the history of racism in genetics.

Genetics and genomics are everywhere, therefore it is very important to educate the public. We are entering an era where genome sequencing is much more affordable and accessible, even to those outside a research or medical setting. Anyone can now send off a DNA sample to be sequenced by various companies. It is therefore becoming even more crucial that we educate as many people as possible about what the information they get back means (or doesn’t mean). Most people encounter genetic testing at some point in their medical histories. Consumers face choices regarding genetically modified food. Even superficial advertising campaigns today often invoke ‘DNA’. Navigating the modern world requires understanding how technological developments in medicine and agriculture, many based on genetics, impinge on our daily lives. Looking more broadly, all citizens must have some understanding of science and the scientific process for our society to function. In this lecture, I went over the importance of genetics to the general public, how we can use genetics to study disparities, and applications to research.

Markia Smith
Markia Smith
Doctoral Student

My work uses integrative genomic approaches to study environmental and genetic determinants of cancer, leading to health disparities.