Diseases impact different populations in different ways. Despite this, the samples used for medical research are often not representative of diverse populations. That disparity is at the heart of the studies conducted by Drs. Josephine Allen and Erika Moore.
In a new article published by Nature, UF professors Erika Moore, Josephine Allen, and Connie Mulligan argue it is imperative to consider ancestry in cell samples for medical research because ancestral differences are present in many diseases. Ancestry typically refers to biological or genetic characteristics, but sociocultural factors, such as language and family history, also impact ancestry. The authors argue that accounting for a person's ancestry will improve the effectiveness of treatment for patients of all backgrounds.