Stanford Precision Health for Ethnic and Racial Equity (SPHERE) Center

Who We Are

The Stanford Precision Health for Ethnic and Racial Equity (SPHERE) Center is one of five national centers funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health to focus on using precision-medicine tools to improve the health of underserved ethnic and racial groups.

What We Do

The SPHERE Center brings together outstanding investigators from across the School of Medicine and community partners to address fundamental questions about health and disease among minority populations that are often underrepresented in traditional clinical research.

The SPHERE Cores represent a variety of scientific and medical disciplines working together to improve minority health disparities through precision health. The five cores including AdministrationAnalytics and ModelingLaboratoryConsortium, and Implementation, collaborate to ensure the success of the three current projects and future Health Disparities projects taken on by the SPHERE team and partners.

Each of the SPHERE projects addresses a knowledge gap that would allow use of precision health tools to reduce health disparities based on race and ethnicity. 

Our three research projects are:

  • BRAICELET – Bio-Repository for American Indian Capacity, Education, Law, Economics and Technology
  • iPOP – Integrated Personalized Omics Profiling (iPOP) for Obesity and Diabetes Risk in Latino Youth
  • Communicating Cancer Genetics Information – Differential Response of Latino and Chinese Families to Information on Cancer Genetics.



Stanford University's SPHERE Center and the Bio-Repository for American Indian Capacity, Education, Law, Economics, and Technology (BRAICELET). BRAICELET aims to reduce the myriad of health disparities in American Indian populations through the establishment of a first-of-its-kind American Indian Biobank; serving as a conduit for a bio-ethical co-exchange of cultural and scientific practices among indigenous and scientific communities. BRAICELET was established in 2015, in partnership with the Lakota community, Missouri Breaks Industries Research Inc. (MBIRI), Black Hills Center for American Health (BHCAIH) and the SPHERE Center, to optimize learning and exchange of culture, policy and Precision Health practices.

Joe Yracheta, VP of the Native BioData Consortium, the first biobank wholly housed within the jurisdictional  borders of an American Indian Nation.


Tipila (Education): home, rules, social teachings; Staff (Capacity): leadership or earned status; The Big Dipper (Education): use of the stars for calendars for planning (crops and animal migrations), long distance travel and concept of time & space; Turtle (Law): the Grandmother, foundations, the beginning, the first instructions; Drum (Economy): communication, diplomacy and trade.

iPOP: Integrative Personalized Omics Profiling

(iPOP) for Obesity and Diabetes Risk in Latino Youth aims to reduce health disparities by developing and applying ‘omics technologies to more effectively prevent and treat excess weight gain and diabetes risk among Latino children participating in a community based intervention.

Communicating Cancer Genetics:

Communicating Cancer Genetics Information – Differential Response of Latino and Chinese Families to Information on Cancer Genetics. This study aims to fill an important knowledge gap about how ethnic minorities utilize and if they benefit from cancer genetic risk information and related recommendations.

Jennifer Li Pook Than, Snyder Lab Research Scientist, gives a talk on -omics at the annual Tribal Research conference.

More details about SPHERE can be found here.


Shares Native wisdom, tribal research, policy and community stories to shape the future of tribal nations. The data and ideas shared will empower tribes to use their sovereignty to implement programs and policies that work, build research capacity and create sustainable opportunities for 7 generations of Native people. RED Talks is founded by Missouri Breaks located on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

Improving Health Through Self Awareness

In this RED Talk, Dr. Michael Snyder of Stanford University shares how to live a healthier life by becoming self-aware and being your own advocate. Dr. Snyder also discusses the triad of the immune system, microbiome and metabolism.

NBDC/BRAICELET biobank was invited to present at the 2019 American Public Health Association Conference and shared this mini-documentary.