Diseases manifest differently in different people, and ancestry is one factor that impacts disease severity, outcome, and treatment. Individuals of European ancestry account for 80 percent of genomics data, and studies based on a narrow slice of ancestral background are often not generalizable to all people. To help fill these gaps in scientific knowledge, the Ancestry Networks for the Human Cell Atlas Request for Applications (RFA) will support teams of researchers to generate healthy, single-cell reference data from historically understudied populations.
The Ancestry Networks RFA builds off of CZI’s experience supporting the work of ten collaborative research teams that studied tissue samples from a diversity of populations, including people who are Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous, as an initial step in addressing equal representation in the Human Cell Atlas. The new RFA will support collaborative networks of researchers for three-year projects. Teams should consist of at least three and up to ten principal investigators, including at least one computational biologist or data scientist and one expert in single-cell biology. Community-based participatory researchers should be involved in the collaboration to ensure that the research is attuned to the needs of and connected with the participating donor communities.