Underrepresented Populations Working Group

Lack of diversity is one of the critical challenges that the genetics field must overcome. To date, approximately 80% of all genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have been conducted in non-Hispanic Europeans. For example, Asians constitute 60% of the world population, but are represented only in 10% of the samples investigated. Latinos represent less than 0.5%, and for Africans, the number is even lower. These differences limit our insights into disease mechanisms and, importantly, create inequalities when newer diagnostic and therapeutic approaches are developed based on genetic information.

Our mission is to join forces to increase representation and decipher the genetic factors associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in non-European populations. We will promote recruitment of persons with PD and ethnically matched healthy controls from underrepresented populations. To add to the Monogenic working group’s efforts, we will identify multiplex families from underrepresented populations, and together with the Data Analysis working group we will help develop the analysis tools necessary to deal with our different and complex genetic admixture. We aim to build resources in the participating countries, including physical resources such as biobanks and training opportunities for local junior researchers. Alongside this we will include researchers, especially junior, to be actively involved in all analyses.

You can also find more information about each of the initiatives working with the working group on the IPDGC-Africa website, the IPDGC-East-Asia website, and the LARGE-PD (Latin America) website.

Working Group
Ignacio Fernandez Mata, PhD
Biography
Lead Underrepresented Populations

Ignacio Fernandez Mata, PhD

Cleveland Clinic | USA
Artur Francisco Schumacher Schuh, MD, PhD
Biography
Co-Lead Underrepresented Populations Latin America

Artur Francisco Schumacher Schuh, MD, PhD

Latin America Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul | Brazil
Shen-Yang Lim, MBBS, MD, FRACP, FASc
Biography
Co-Lead Monogenic Portal and Underrepresented Populations East Asia

Shen-Yang Lim, MBBS, MD, FRACP, FASc

University of Malaya | Malaysia
Olaitan Okunoye, MSc,
Biography
Co-lead Underrepresented Populations Africa

Olaitan Okunoye, MSc,

Africa University College London | United Kingdom
Sara Bandres-Ciga, PharmD, PhD
Biography
Co-Lead Training, Networking, and Communication

Sara Bandres-Ciga, PharmD, PhD

National Institutes of Health | USA
Peter Heutink, PhD
Biography
Lead Monogenic Data Analysis

Peter Heutink, PhD

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases | Germany
Hirotaka Iwaki, MD, PhD
Biography
Co-Lead Complex Disease Cohort Integration

Hirotaka Iwaki, MD, PhD

Data Technica International / National Institutes of Health | USA
Rejko Kruger, MD
Biography

Rejko Kruger, MD

Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine | Luxembourg
Kin Mok, MBBS, FRCP(E), PhD
Biography

Kin Mok, MBBS, FRCP(E), PhD

University College London | United Kingdom
Alastair Noyce, MRCP, PhD
Biography
Lead Training, Networking, and Communication

Alastair Noyce, MRCP, PhD

Queen Mary University of London | United Kingdom
Njideka Okubadejo, MBChB, FMCP
Biography

Njideka Okubadejo, MBChB, FMCP

University of Lagos | Nigeria
Mie Rizig, MD, PhD
Biography

Mie Rizig, MD, PhD

University College London | United Kingdom
Manu Sharma, PhD
Biography

Manu Sharma, PhD

University of Tubingen | Germany
Joshua Shulman. MD, PhD
Biography

Joshua Shulman. MD, PhD

Baylor College of Medicine | USA
Bernadette Siddiqi
Biography

Bernadette Siddiqi

Michael J. Fox Foundation | USA
Milestones
Progress so far
  • Started trans-ethnic meta-analysis and fine mapping project
  • Started document identifying the needs and gaps for URMs in GP2
  • Provided URMs Parkinson’s families to the Monogenic pilot project
Remaining Year 1 Goals
  • Report findings of trans-ethnic fine mapping

Contact Us

For any questions or new potential under-represented cohorts please contact: underrepresented@gp2.org.