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Strengthening human genetics research in Africa: report of the 9th meeting of the African Society of Human Genetics in Dakar in May 2016

  • R. Ndiaye Diallo (a1), M. Gadji (a1), B. J. Hennig (a2), M. V. Guèye (a1), A. Gaye (a3), J. P. D. Diop (a1), M. Sylla Niang (a1), P. Lopez Sall (a1), P. M. Guèye (a1), A. Dem (a1), O. Faye (a1), A. Dieye (a1), A. Cisse (a1), M. Sembene (a1), S. Ka (a1), N. Diop (a1), S. M. Williams (a4), E. Matovu (a5), R.S. Ramesar (a6), A. Wonkam (a6), M. Newport (a7), C. Rotimi (a3) and M. Ramsay (a8)...

Abstract

The 9th meeting of the African Society of Human Genetics, in partnership with the Senegalese Cancer Research and Study Group and the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Consortium, was held in Dakar, Senegal. The theme was Strengthening Human Genetics Research in Africa. The 210 delegates came from 21 African countries and from France, Switzerland, UK, UAE, Canada and the USA. The goal was to highlight genetic and genomic science across the African continent with the ultimate goal of improving the health of Africans and those across the globe, and to promote the careers of young African scientists in the field. A session on the sustainability of genomic research in Africa brought to light innovative and practical approaches to supporting research in resource-limited settings and the importance of promoting genetics in academic, research funding, governmental and private sectors. This meeting led to the formation of the Senegalese Society for Human Genetics.

Le 9ème congrès de la Société Africaine de Génétique Humaine, en partenariat avec le Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche sur le Cancer (GERC) et le Consortium H3Africa, s’est tenu à Dakar, au Sénégal. Le thème était «Renforcer la recherche en Génétique Humaine en Afrique». Les 210 participants sont venus de 21 pays africains et de six non africains. L’objectif était de valoriser la génétique et la génomique à travers l’Afrique avec comme but ultime d’améliorer la santé des populations, et de promouvoir les carrières des jeunes chercheurs Africains. Une session sur la pérennité de la recherche génomique a révélé des approches innovantes et pratiques supportant la recherche dans des contextes de ressources limitées et l’importance de promouvoir la formation universitaire en génétique, le financement de la recherche par les gouvernements et le privé. Ce congrès conduisit à la création de la Société Sénégalaise de Génétique Humaine.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: M. Ramsay, Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of the Witwatersrand, 9 Jubilee Road, Parktown, 2050 Johannesburg, South Africa. (Email: michele.ramsay@wits.ac.za)

Footnotes

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These authors contributed equally to this work.

Footnotes

References

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1. de Vries, J, et al. The H3Africa policy framework: negotiating fairness in genomics. Trends in Genetics 2015; 31: 117119.
2. Mensah, GA, et al. H3Africa comes of age. Cardiovascular Journal of Africa 2015; 26(2 Suppl. 1): S3S5.
3. Ramsay, M. Growing genomic research on the African continent: the H3Africa Consortium. South African Medical Journal 2015; 105: 10161017.
4. Ramsay, M, Sankoh, O. African partnerships through the H3Africa Consortium bring a genomic dimension to longitudinal population studies on the continent. International Journal of Epidemiology 2016; 45: 305308.
5. Wonkam, A, et al. Sickle cell disease and H3Africa: enhancing genomic research on cardiovascular diseases in African patients. Cardiovascular Journal of Africa 2015; 26(2 Suppl. 1): S50S55.
6. Rotimi, CN. Inauguration of the African Society of Human Genetics. Nature Genetics 2004; 36: 544.
7. Wonkam, A, et al. Inauguration of the Cameroonian Society of Human Genetics. Pan African Medical Journal 2009; 3: 8.
8. Wonkam, A, et al. Capacity-building in human genetics for developing countries: initiatives and perspectives in sub-Saharan Africa. Public Health Genomics 2010; 13: 492494.

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