Diverse Human References Drive Genomic Discoveries for Everyone
We call for an end to the systemic racism that has killed and oppressed people of color for centuries. While the primary focus has been on reforming institutions such as policing, education, and law, we know that systemic racism also affects genomics and medicine. One of the aims of the Human Pangenome Reference Consortium (HPRC) is to help address the racial and ethnic biases in genomic resources, most specifically in the human reference genome. Establishing a human genome reference that better represents human diversity is an important step in addressing the inequity and imbalance of prior human genetics research. The HPRC aims to issue a new pangenome reference assembly to the international community that reflects the full range of genomic diversity across the globe. We are committed to achieving this goal in a responsible and ethical manner, with explicit attention to community engagement, inclusion, and fair representation.
The Human Pangenome Reference Consortium recognizes that the goals of this project are far from the research needed to combat COVID-19 and we applaud those who are able to employ their time and talents in this worthy cause. Our funding agency and steering committee are in full support of any HPRC consortium members who are able to engage in COVID-19 related activities instead of work in support of the Human Pangenome Reference.