Bachelor of Arts, Hamilton College (2009)
Certificate, University of Washington, Statistical Genetics (2015)
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Washington (2017)
The varying frequencies of pharmacogenetic alleles between populations have important implications for the impact of these alleles in different populations. Current population grouping methods to communicate these patterns are insufficient as they are inconsistent and fail to reflect the global distribution of genetic variability. To facilitate and standardize the reporting of variability in pharmacogenetic allele frequencies, we present seven geographically-defined groups: American, Central/South Asian, East Asian, European, Near Eastern, Oceanian, and Sub-Saharan African, and two admixed groups: African American/Afro-Caribbean and Latino. These nine groups are defined by global autosomal genetic structure and based on data from large-scale sequencing initiatives. We recognize that broadly grouping global populations is an oversimplification of human diversity and does not capture complex social and cultural identity. However, these groups meet a key need in pharmacogenetics research by enabling consistent communication of the scale of variability in global allele frequencies and are now used by PharmGKB. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
View details for PubMedID 30506572
The Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) Ancestry and Diversity Working Group highlights the need to develop guidance on race, ethnicity, and ancestry (REA) data collection and use in clinical genomics. We present quantitative and qualitative evidence to characterize: (1) acquisition of REA data via clinical laboratory requisition forms, and (2) information disparity across populations in the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD) at clinically relevant sites ascertained from annotations in ClinVar. Our requisition form analysis showed substantial heterogeneity in clinical laboratory ascertainment of REA, as well as marked incongruity among terms used to define REA categories. There was also striking disparity across REA populations in the amount of information available about clinically relevant variants in gnomAD. European ancestral populations constituted the majority of observations (55.8%), allele counts (59.7%), and private alleles (56.1%) in gnomAD at 550 loci with "pathogenic" and "likely pathogenic" expert-reviewed variants in ClinVar. Our findings highlight the importance of implementing and supporting programs to increase diversity in genome sequencing and clinical genomics, as well as measuring uncertainty around population-level datasets that are used in variant interpretation. Finally, we suggest the need for a standardized REA data collection framework to be developed through partnerships and collaborations and adopted across clinical genomics.
View details for PubMedID 30311373