Major Mexican genetic study uncovers basis for health differences among Latinos

The most comprehensive genetic study of the Mexican population to date has revealed as much genetic differentiation as the variation between some Europeans and Asians.

The findings in the study, co-senior-authored by School faculty member Esteban Burchard, MD, MPH, and conducted with researchers at Stanford University and Mexico’s National Institute of Genomic Medicine, help to explain significant health differences among Latinos of Mexican descent, including rates of breast cancer and asthma as well as differing response to therapies.

The research, published in the June 13, 2014 issue of Science, provides the groundwork for developing more accurate and precise diagnostics—and possibly therapeutics—based on these genetic variations.

Burchard is a faculty member in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.


About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.