Dr. Laura Arbour is leading the Silent Genome project to improve access to genetic care for Indigenous populations.

“With $10.4 million in federal funding from Genome Canada, Dr. Arbour and fellow UBC researchers Dr. Nadine Caron in Prince George and Dr. Wyeth Wasserman in Vancouver have partnered with Indigenous organizations and communities across the country to lead the Silent Genome Project and create the first Indigenous DNA reference library.

‘The library will change things,’ says Dr. Arbour. ‘It will open the doors for better diagnosis and treatment, which is an important step in ensuring that Indigenous communities have the same access to genetic health care that other populations have.’

The team will not only build the library, but will also develop standards for Indigenous oversight about how the data will be used and protected.

‘It will provide best practices and guidelines for future genomic projects to make sure that Indigenous populations stay included and involved even after the project ends,’ she says.”

More on Bridging the Gap via UBC’s Faculty of Medicine Pathways.

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