Human Pangenome Reference Consortium


Diverse Human References Drive Genomic Discoveries for Everyone

Human Pangenome Reference Consortium Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

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.

Human Pangenome Reference Consortium Response to the COVID-19

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.

Human Pangenome Reference Consortium Response to the COVID-19

HPRC consortium members who are able to remain focused on this research will continue to engage in the following activities.

  • Policy and Administration
    • Development of HPRC protocols and policy will continue as needs are identified.
    • In the coming days, a policy for data use and publications will be released.
  • Sample Selection and Diversity
    • Researchers will continue to engage and discuss diversity in the context of sample selection in order to meet the aims of this project. 
    • This group will also continue to communicate with other international efforts focused on the human reference. 
  • Data Production
    • Data generation will be significantly reduced due to the closure of many of the laboratories engaged in Human Pangenome Reference work.  An adjusted data production timeline can be found here.
    • Laboratories that will continue to produce data will use social distancing and enhanced laboratory cleaning protocols to ensure the safety of their teams.
    • The Technology and Production Working group continues to receive regular updates from each laboratory. 
  • Assembly and Analysis
    • Teams are currently engaged in the quality assessment of assemblies utilizing the HG002 test data found here
  • Outreach and Engagement
    • While the pandemic has made travel impossible right now, those dedicated to this mission will continue to the develop materials needed to engage the scientific community.

In the coming weeks and months, the scientific community will continue to be focused on finding ways to save lives during the pandemic. HPRC leadership will continue to follow this research closely in case there are opportunities for engagement. 

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