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Genetic ancestry proven powerful in predicting lung function
By UCSF School of Pharmacy Editorial Staff / Thu Jul 8, 2010
Genetic ancestry can tell more about a person's potential lung function than the self-identified racial profile commonly used to determine normal lung function reference standards, according to the results of research led by UCSF and Northwestern University. "When we force patients into an individual box, such as 'African-American' or 'Caucasian', we're missing a lot of genetic information," noted the study's senior author Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH, a faculty member in the UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences. "This study provides new evidence that genetic ancestry correlates to physiologic measures," he adds. "With it, we're one step closer to personalized medicine."
The study was published July 7, 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine. It is the largest of its kind to date, spanning 12 research centers and pooling data on more than 3,000 African-American patients.
About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.