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Race and ancestry in biomedical research: exploring the challenges.

Caulfield T, Fullerton SM, Ali-Khan SE, Arbour L, Burchard EG, Cooper RS, Hardy BJ, Harry S, Hyde-Lay R, Kahn J, Kittles R, Koenig BA, Lee SS, Malinowski M, Ravitsky V, Sankar P, Scherer SW, Séguin B, Shickle D, Suarez-Kurtz G, Daar AS - Genome Med (2009)

Bottom Line: In addition, we are entering an era in which genomic research is increasingly focused on the nature and extent of human genetic variation, often examined by population, which leads to heightened potential for misunderstandings or misuse of terms concerning genetic variation and race.Here, we draw together the perspectives of participants in a recent interdisciplinary workshop on ancestry and health in medicine in order to explore the use of race in research issue from the vantage point of a variety of disciplines.We review the nature of the race controversy in the context of biomedical research and highlight several challenges to policy action, including restrictions resulting from commercial or regulatory considerations, the difficulty in presenting precise terminology in the media, and drifting or ambiguous definitions of key terms.

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Affiliation: Faculty of Law and School of Public Health Research, Health Law Institute, University of Alberta, 89 Ave and 111 St., T6G 2H5, Canada.

ABSTRACT
The use of race in biomedical research has, for decades, been a source of social controversy. However, recent events, such as the adoption of racially targeted pharmaceuticals, have raised the profile of the race issue. In addition, we are entering an era in which genomic research is increasingly focused on the nature and extent of human genetic variation, often examined by population, which leads to heightened potential for misunderstandings or misuse of terms concerning genetic variation and race. Here, we draw together the perspectives of participants in a recent interdisciplinary workshop on ancestry and health in medicine in order to explore the use of race in research issue from the vantage point of a variety of disciplines. We review the nature of the race controversy in the context of biomedical research and highlight several challenges to policy action, including restrictions resulting from commercial or regulatory considerations, the difficulty in presenting precise terminology in the media, and drifting or ambiguous definitions of key terms.

No MeSH data available.


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Mentions: The continuing salience of race as a research variable places researchers in the unenviable position of having to negotiate complicated, and often controversial, terrain. Given the potential for misinterpretation and misapplication of research findings, great care must be used in the characterization of study samples and the interpretation of observations (Box 2). Available research tells us that such rigor is often absent in the reporting of race and ethnicity in the biomedical literature [44-50]. In addition, researchers must remain aware of the manner in which their work could be translated, both clinically and in the popular press (Box 2).


Race and ancestry in biomedical research: exploring the challenges.

Caulfield T, Fullerton SM, Ali-Khan SE, Arbour L, Burchard EG, Cooper RS, Hardy BJ, Harry S, Hyde-Lay R, Kahn J, Kittles R, Koenig BA, Lee SS, Malinowski M, Ravitsky V, Sankar P, Scherer SW, Séguin B, Shickle D, Suarez-Kurtz G, Daar AS - Genome Med (2009)

© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2651580&req=5

Mentions: The continuing salience of race as a research variable places researchers in the unenviable position of having to negotiate complicated, and often controversial, terrain. Given the potential for misinterpretation and misapplication of research findings, great care must be used in the characterization of study samples and the interpretation of observations (Box 2). Available research tells us that such rigor is often absent in the reporting of race and ethnicity in the biomedical literature [44-50]. In addition, researchers must remain aware of the manner in which their work could be translated, both clinically and in the popular press (Box 2).

Bottom Line: In addition, we are entering an era in which genomic research is increasingly focused on the nature and extent of human genetic variation, often examined by population, which leads to heightened potential for misunderstandings or misuse of terms concerning genetic variation and race.Here, we draw together the perspectives of participants in a recent interdisciplinary workshop on ancestry and health in medicine in order to explore the use of race in research issue from the vantage point of a variety of disciplines.We review the nature of the race controversy in the context of biomedical research and highlight several challenges to policy action, including restrictions resulting from commercial or regulatory considerations, the difficulty in presenting precise terminology in the media, and drifting or ambiguous definitions of key terms.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Law and School of Public Health Research, Health Law Institute, University of Alberta, 89 Ave and 111 St., T6G 2H5, Canada.

ABSTRACT
The use of race in biomedical research has, for decades, been a source of social controversy. However, recent events, such as the adoption of racially targeted pharmaceuticals, have raised the profile of the race issue. In addition, we are entering an era in which genomic research is increasingly focused on the nature and extent of human genetic variation, often examined by population, which leads to heightened potential for misunderstandings or misuse of terms concerning genetic variation and race. Here, we draw together the perspectives of participants in a recent interdisciplinary workshop on ancestry and health in medicine in order to explore the use of race in research issue from the vantage point of a variety of disciplines. We review the nature of the race controversy in the context of biomedical research and highlight several challenges to policy action, including restrictions resulting from commercial or regulatory considerations, the difficulty in presenting precise terminology in the media, and drifting or ambiguous definitions of key terms.

No MeSH data available.