Send to

Choose Destination
Genomics. 2018 Jan;110(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2017.07.009. Epub 2017 Aug 1.

Towards diversity in genomics: The emergence of neurogenomics in Africa?

Author information

Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester LE1 9BH, UK. Electronic address:
Department of Genetics, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa; Department of Psychiatry, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg Medical Campus, Tygerberg, South Africa. Electronic address:


There is a high burden of mental and neurological disorders in Africa. Nevertheless, there appears to be an under-representation of African ancestry populations in large-scale genomic studies. Here, we evaluated the extent of under-representation of Africans in neurogenomic studies in the GWAS Catalog. We found 569 neurogenomic studies, of which 88.9% were exclusively focused on people with European ancestry and the remaining 11.1% having African ancestry cases included. In terms of population, only 1.2% of the total populations involved in these 569 GWAS studies were of African descent. Further, most of the individuals in the African ancestry category were identified to be African-Americans/Afro-Caribbeans, highlighting the huge under-representation of homogenous African populations in large-scale neurogenomic studies. Efforts geared at establishing strong collaborative ties with European/American researchers, maintaining freely accessible biobanks and establishing comprehensive African genome data repositories to track African genome variations are critical for propelling neurogenomics/precision medicine in Africa.


Africa; GWAS; Neurogenomics; Pharmacogenomics; Precision medicine

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center