Keolu Fox: Why genetic research must be more diverse
Keolu Fox - Geneticist, indigenous rights activist
Keolu Fox explores the links between human genetic variation and disease in underrepresented populations. Full bio
stories about Kalaupapa --
sea cliffs in the world --
for the Hawaiian community.
caring for the remaining lepers
Father Damien died of leprosy.
switchback cliff paths on a mule,
her favorite hula songs on the ukulele
chose to live in complete isolation
he sought to help.
leprosy, or "mai Pake?"
makes us unique as Hawaiians --
our unique genetic ancestry
wellness and illness.
and preventative medicine
a diverse cohort of people
of human genetic variation on the planet.
with specific diseases
on individuals of European ancestry.
for the rest of diversity.
than one percent
communities, like myself.
Project actually for?
different colored eyes and hair,
would be shocked to learn
individuals of European ancestry?
of indigenous people
and genome studies
of a history of distrust.
from Arizona State University
from Arizona's Havasupai tribe,
of type 2 diabetes
those exact same samples --
of schizophrenia, inbreeding,
the Havasupai's origin story.
research on their reservation.
tribes in the country --
can benefit from genetic research.
is going to continue to widen.
on average of any state in the US,
before our non-native counterparts,
of the highest rates of type 2 diabetes,
two killers in the US:
that need genome sequencing the most
genetic research more native,
are sequenced in laboratories.
genomes on the fly?
sequencer in your pocket?
of your traditional genome sequencer.
with extraneous cords,
or computer monitors.
sequencing technology development
indigenous communities ...
leprosy bacteria in real time,
Hawaiian people want.
for the people by the people.
of genetic information.
IndiGenomics research institute
of indigenous scientists.
and not subjects of genetic research.
to immerse itself in indigenous culture
About the speaker:Keolu Fox - Geneticist, indigenous rights activist
Keolu Fox explores the links between human genetic variation and disease in underrepresented populations.
Why you should listen
Keolu Fox's research interests include genome sequencing technologies, genome editing and indigenizing medical research. Fox is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Washington, Department of Genome Sciences working with experts at Bloodworks Northwest, in Seattle, WA. His work focuses on the application of genome sequencing to increase compatibility for blood transfusion therapy and organ transplantation.
Along with fellow indigenous geneticists Katrina Claw (PhD) and Joe Yracheta, Fox co-founded IndiGenomics, a tribal non-profit organization with a mission of bringing genomic expertise to indigenous communities, empowering indigenous research capacity and positively contributing to health research with indigenous communities for present and future generations.
Recently Fox's work has been in the international media spotlight, with recognition in outlets such as Wired, the BBC, CBC, NPR, The Atlantic, Forbes, Indian Country Today and others. He was named a TED Fellow in 2016.
Keolu Fox | Speaker | TED.com