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Making Genomics Relevant to ALL
 
Join Scientists, Medical Researchers, Academicians & Community Advocates in Exploring these & Other Critical Research-in-Action Topics: 

  • Redefining political/medical/societal terminology: race vs ancestry, diversifying vs stratifying, "minority", pharmacogenomics vs racialized medicine, pharmaco-economics and Health Equity

  • Assessing ancestral genomic research outcomes in reducing population-biased health disparities and moving toward Populations Health Equity

  • Investigating Biosensor, Nano-agents, HIgh-throughput Screening Models to study new target sequences  and susceptibility genes ( e.g. TRPV6)

  • NIH and NSF Directors Special Pipeline Education and Training  Session

  • Exploring approaches, such as the Ancestral Variant Theoretical Model and Equation, to address Precision Medicine and Precision Nutrition


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         (Central Standard Time CST)

Virtual University of North Texas

Transdisciplinary Conference on Diversifying Genomic Research  

 

Our  NOVEMBER 20-21, 2020 VIRTUAL UNT TRANSDISCIPLINARY CONFERENCE ON DIVERSIFYING GENOMIC RESEARCH was the Inaugural event, ushering in a series of 4 annual meetings on Transdisciplinary Ancestral Genomics Research Insights (TAGRI) proposed to help diversify the Reference Human Genome, demystify and address medical paradoxes in underrepresented populations.  Leaders will gather in the fields of ancestral genomics & genetics, biology, engineering, chemistry, physics, medicine, epidemiology, evolutionary history, bioinformatics, nutrition, advocacy, policy and other relevant fields to impact and share the benefits of new genomic research across ecological niches, to underrepresented populations. 

 

The November 2020 meeting focused on those African-American health disparities that may be linked to  the translocation of an ethnic population's ancestral gene variants from their original ecological environment to the uniquely different ecology of the United States.  It will also introduce the Hilliard  Ancestral Genomics (AG) Theoretical Equation (click here)  as a framework for beginning to unravel what are often referred to as "paradoxes" in the medical literature, solely because they lie outside the parameters of current European-based biological standards and values.  The applicability of the AG Theoretical Equation and other new theoretical models will also be explored in robust discussions, offering innovative insights into six disease susceptibilities in  non-immigrant African-Americans of slave descent: Hypertension, Kidney failure, Metastatic Prostate Cancer, Triple Negative Breast Cancer, Type II Diabetes and Obesity. Discussions will introduce empirical testing of the Hilliard AG Theoretical Equation and other models that may contribute closing the Health Disparities gap across ecological niche populations.

 

The upcoming forum will set the stage for educating our TAGRI community on industry standards and tools for ancestral genomic approaches. It will also bring together specialists from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, National Library of Medicine, the Cooperative Human Tissue Network, the Food and Nutrition Board, Precision Medicine and the National Center for Biotechnology Information.  Workshops with suggested funding announcements will be set up to establish collaborations for future research directed at our goal of diminishing the one-size-fits-all approach to human genomics.  These sessions will also address a range of issues. including the authentication of ancestral cell lines, improved methods in bioinformatics data-gathering, ancestral adaptations to diverse nutritional environments, and effective methods for recruiting underrepresented populations to participate in medical studies. 

Future TAGRI Conferences will continue to derive and test innovative concepts and methodologies to elucidate the role of ancestral genomics and disease susceptibilities in global demographic populations as a way of stratifying the Reference Human Genome in order to achieve greater diversity.  The goal is to provide improved, quality healthcare across genomic/ecological niche populations.  Watch for the 

  • 2021, Second Annual TAGRI Conference: Investigating Medical Paradoxes in Latino/Hispanic and Native Americans to be held in El Paso, Texas and hosted by Texas Tech University Health Science Center.

  • 2022, Third Annual TAGRI Conference: Investigating Cancer Medical Paradoxes in global populations, location to be determined.

  • 2023, Fourth Annual TAGRI Conference: focus on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), quality maintenance, disease prevention and healthcare intervention, location to be determined.

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JOIN US IN WORKING TO MAKE GENOMICS MORE RELEVANT TO ALL

  • INVESTIGATE new, inclusive approaches to Genomics Research approaches to diversify the current Reference Human Genome in ways that are globally inclusive of  Underrepresented  Populations. 

  • ACQUIRE leading-edge and gold-standard methodological tools in Virtual Workshops , led by experts from  Federal Agencies, Industry, Universities, Policy and Advocacy Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics. 

  • EXPLORE  Think Tank opportunities for transdisciplinary collaborations with medical researchers, geneticists, STEM researchers, community advocates,  evolutionary historians, medical anthropologists, pharmacologist, data and informatics scientists, and other specialists.

 

Areas of Interest

This Inaugural Conference will create a dynamic space for the intersection of transdisciplinary fields and professions, with the overarching goal of diminishing the one-size-fits-all approach to human genomics.  Included among the areas of interest are the following: 

  • Bioethics​​ 

  • Bioinformatics: data and information sciences, cyber security

  • Biomedical Translation, Biosensor design, Sequence-targeting Nano-agent Design

  • Epidemiology

  • ​Ethnic Health Disparities (EHD) and Hypothesis Modeling

  • EHD and access to biospecimen and authenticated cell lines

  • EHD in Pharmacology, Cardiovascular Disease, Oncology, Obesity, Renal disease

  • EHD in Genomics, Medical Anthropology, Proteomics

  • Evolutionary History and Ancestral Genomics Signatures

  • Nutrition in an Ethnically Diverse Society  - Precision Nutrition

  • Population Genetics, Genetic Niches and EHD

  • Science,& Technology Studies  (STS)

Register Now & Sign-up for One of Our Research-in-Action 

 THINK TANKS

Sign-up for One of  Our Research-in-Action 

 THINK TANKS

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These THINK TANKS will be platforms for sharing ideas, proposing grant-competitive solutions to shared research problems, networking with colleagues and forming transdisciplinary collaborations. The THINK TANKS Sessions will meet online the  afternoon of November 21, 2020,  under the team leadership of Denise Perry Simmons, Ph.D., UNT Engineering Senior Scientist, Visiting Biomedical Faculty Chemistry, and Faculty Scholar Jim McNatt Logistics Research Institute-Healthcare.

 


THINK TANK 1  - Building an Industry, Medicine, Science and Community-based Collaboration for Genetic Niche biospecimen, authenticated cell lines and an archival portfolio of their comprehensive marker profiles (retrospective and prospective), data/information sciences/cyber security.  

Cognizant Co-chair Nicole Bollinger, MBA, University Hospitals Research & Education Institute, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

THINK TANK 2  Strategic Analysis of the Ancestral Genomic Theoretical Model Equation for Empirical Testing -- Proof of Concept

Cognizant Co-Chair, Jeffrey Long, Ph.D. College of Arts & Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

          

THINK TANK 3  Hypothesis Modeling in Improving Health Disparities Outcomes -- Epidemiological, Anthropological, Genomic and Proteomic, Precision Nutrition Approaches

Cognizant Co-Chair, Victor Prybutok, Ph.D., CQE, CQA, CMQ/OE, PSTAT®, G. Brint Ryan College of Business & Toulouse Graduate School, University of North Texas

THINK TANK 4  Biosensor and Nano-agent Design, Development and Testing to Target Ecological/Genetic Niche Identified Medical Paradoxes

Cognizant Co-chair Pudur Jagadeeswaran, PhD., College of Science, Dept Biological Sciences, University of North Texas


 

THINK TANK 5  Precision Medicine: Investigating Translation of Single Case Experimental Design (SCED) in Preclinical and Clinical Research Models for Advancing Diversification of the Human Genome

Cognizant Co-chair Prathiba Natesan Batley, Ph.D,  College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Brunel University London

THINK TANK 6  Communication Pathways to  Health Equity: Investigating Awareness, Education and Training Approaches and Methods in 6.1 race versus ancestry in Genome Medicine,

6.2 Pharmacogenomics versus Racialized Medicine. 
Cognizant Co-Chair Gayle Prybutok, BSN, MBA, PhD, College of Health and Public Service, Dept Rehabilitation and Health Services.

 
 

The Conference workshops and panels will take place on Friday, November 20, and Saturday, November 21, 2020.  NO REGISTRATION FEE  but virtual seating is limited.

 

Friday, November 20, 2020

(All Sessions (Central Standard Time/GMT -6 hours)

      10 AM (CST)     Welcome: Mark McLellan,Ph.D.,  Vice-President for Research & Innovation, UNT.

                           

 

      10:10 AM (CST)  Greeting from Department Host:  Professor Jennifer Wallach, Chair, UNT Department of                                                        History, author of Getting What We Need Ourselves: How Food Has Shaped  African American                                             Life   

10:20 AM (CST)       Introduction:  Constance B. Hilliard, Ph.D.,

                              “Therapeutic & Other Health Applications for the Ancestral Gene Variant Theoretical Model in                                           African-Americans & Other  Underrepresented Populations ​

 

 10:30 AM (CST)    KEYNOTE SPEAKER:  Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D.
                               "Population Heterogeneity and Human Nutrition – Where do we go from here?"​

 

 11:45 AM (CST               WORKSHOP SESSION I:  Kim D. Pruitt, Ph.D. 

                              IRB, Consents, Cybersecurity, DATA: Digital, Sharing, Entry, Mining, Sites, Repurposing, Retrieving.                                  REPOSITORIES:                   

                              Resource Access, Building and Joining (special emphasis on human data) “Resources, and the                                        Challenges of Translating Theory into Empirical Studies & Clinical Research Protection of Human                                    Subjects throughout the Data Life Cycle”    

                                       
 1:00 PM (CST)               WORKSHOP SESSION IIShannon J. McCall, M.D.

                               Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), Protection Human Subjects, Required Certification, Protocols,                                       Recruiting, Consent, Confidentiality, HIPAA, Patient Safety, Tissue /Cell Repositories Biobanks,                                         Collaborations – whose IRB? “Protection of Human  Subjects Challenges in Basic, Pre-clinical                                          and  Clinical Research: Responding to the Authentication Crisis”


    2:15 PM (CST)      HEALTH EQUITIES SESSION:  Rick Kittles, Ph.D.

   3:15 PM (CST)        Neal Hanchard, Ph.D.

                               


 

Saturday, November 21, 

9:30 A.M.- 11:30 A.M. (Central Time)  Students ONLY Special Interest Workshop NSF & NIHKim E. Barrett, Ph.D. &                                                 Shauna Clark, Ph.D.

                                          “Education, Training Opportunities for the Pipeline High School through Graduate School”

8:30.                    Opening Plenary Session: Xuexia Wang, Ph.D.  

8:45.                     Subject Matter Session I:  Matthew Anderson, Ph.D.

                                “Approaching Native American communities on their own terms in microbiome research”.

9:50                     Subject Matter Session II: Alice B. Popejoy, Ph.D.

                            “Precision Medicine requires precise measures and methods: Examining current perceptions and                                   use of 'race, 'ethnicity' and 'ancestry' among clinical genetics professionals and researchers”

10:45                    Subject Matter Session III: Bertha A. Hidalgo, Ph.D., MPH  

                            “Coronary Disease, Diabetes and Multi-factor in Ecological Niche Population-associated Variants in                                Hispanic/Latino Health”

                     

11:45                    Subject Matter Session IV: Alexander Sobolevsky, Ph.D.

                           “The structure and function of the calcium-selective channel TRPV6 and its possible role in                                              disease" 

12:45 PM (CST)   Subject Matter Session VI: Patricia A. Francis-Lyons, Ph.D.

                            “Bioinformatics, Ancestral Databases and Delineations in Ancestral Populations: A look at                                                   Health/Bio-informatics and cancer disparities in under-represented populations”

 

4:15 PM (CST)     Subject Matter Session VII: Rafiki Cai

                            “"How Do We Interest The Lay Person In The Matter of Genomics"  

12:45 PM (CST)   THINK TANK SESSIONS/Simultaneous: Denise Perry Simmons, Ph.D. - Introduction

                            Research Concepts: Empirical Investigations Causative Variants, Proof of Concept Ancestral                                            Genomics Variant Model;    Translation 6 SRIM target diseases bench to clinic; Funding                                                      Opportunities: Developing  subject matter collaborative research

 

Think Tank #1

Think Tank #2

Think Tank #3

Think Tank #4

Think Tank #5

Think Tank #6

                         

3:00 PM (CST) Think Tanks Plenary  Session                                                                

4:00 PM (CST)  Closing Session: Pudur Jagadeeswaran, Ph.D

 

Conference Schedule at-a-Glance

 


 

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The Conference workshops and panels will take place on Friday, November 20, and Saturday, November 21, 2020.  NO REGISTRATION FEE  but virtual seating is limited.

Friday, November 20, 2020

(All Sessions (Central Standard Time)

 

SETTING THE BAR, LAYING THE GROUNDWORK: HEALTH DISPARITIES & THE REFERENCE HUMAN GENOME

 

 9:00 AM      Welcome: Mark McLellan,Ph.D.,  Vice-President for Research & Innovation, UNT.

                           

 

 9:10 AM      Greeting from Department Host:  Professor Jennifer Wallach, Chair, UNT Department of                                                        History, author of Getting What We Need Ourselves: How Food Has Shaped  African                                                      American  Life   

9:20 AM       Introduction:  Constance B. Hilliard, Ph.D.,

                                      "6 Overlooked Hurdles to Achieving Diversity in Genomic Research" 

 10:00 AM    KEYNOTE SPEAKER:  Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D.
                               "Population Heterogeneity and Human Nutrition – Where do we go from here?"​

  10:45 AM      WORKSHOP SESSION I:  Kim D. Pruitt, Ph.D. 

                           "From Consents to SNPs: An Overview of NCBI’s Network of HumanGenetic Resources and                                    data access"      

                         Workshop Description: To understand the suite of human genetic resources that support FAIR                                  data sharing including GenBank, the Sequence Read Archive (SRA), the Human Reference                                        Sequence, population and clinical variation (SNP and ClinVar), the Database of Genotypes and                                Phenotypes (dbGaP; including consents and controlled access to data), and metadata resources                           (BioProject, BioSample).
                                          

11:45            LUNCH BREAK:  Virtual Lunch in the Virtual Lounge 

                                       
 12:15 PM      WORKSHOP SESSION IIShannon J. McCall, M.D.

                               Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), Protection Human Subjects, Required Certification, P                                             Protocols, Recruiting, Consent, Confidentiality, HIPAA, Patient Safety, Tissue /Cell Repositories                                 Biobanks, Collaborations – whose IRB? “Protection of Human  Subjects Challenges in Basic,                                     Pre-clinical  and  Clinical Research: Responding to the Authentication Crisis”

1:15 PM     Subject Matter Session I:  Rick Kittles, Ph.D.

                                 Genetic Ancestry,  Stratified Populations, and Health Disparities 

 

2.00 PM     Subject Matter Session II:  Neil Hanchard, M.D.,  Ph.D.

                                “Why discoveries in the African Genome have the potential to benefit all of humankind”

                               Research capacity. Enabling the genomic revolution in Africa.

3:00 PM      Subject Matter Session III:  Jeffrey Long, Ph.D.

                             "Nested Subsets of African Diversity as an Alternative to Race for Understanding Global Human                               Diversity."

3:45 PM   Subject Matter Session   IV:  Georgia Dunston, Ph.D.

                         "Genodynamics: Novel biophysical metrics for assessing SNPs in ancestral genomics                                                 research"

4:30 PM     Closing Plenary Session:  V: Chandra Donnell Carey, Ph.D.  

                       "Genomics: Shaping the Future of Health Equity in Medicine"

                   

Saturday, November 21, 2020        

 

 

​9:30 A.M.- 11:30 A.M.  

 

    RESEARCH TRAINEES ONLY:  " Education, Training Opportunities for the Pipeline High School through                                                                                     Postdoctorate"
 

Virtual-Live Special Interest Workshop by NSF Director Division of Graduate Education, Kim Barrett, Ph.D. and NIH Academy Director, Shauna Clark, Ph.D. 
 

Moderator: UNT Professor, Dean Honors College and Texas Academy Mathematics and Science, Glênisson de Oliveira, Ph.D.
 

                

ADVANCING TRANSDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES IN HEALTH DISPARITIES: RESPONDING TO THE TOUGH QUESTIONS

 8:00 AM           Opening Plenary Session: Xuexia Wang, Ph.D.

                                 "Adjustment for local ancestry in genetic association analysis of admixed populations"
 

 8:10 AM           Subject Matter Session I:  Matthew Anderson, Ph.D.

                                “Approaching Native American communities on their own terms in microbiome research”.

 8:50 AM         Subject Matter Session II: Bertha A. Hidalgo, Ph.D., MPH  

                             “Coronary Disease, Diabetes and Multi-factor in Ecological Niche Population-associated                                            Variants in Hispanic/Latino Health”

 9:30AM         Subject Matter Session III: Clinical/Medical   JudyAnn Bigby, M.D.

                           "What are the factors that account for racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes?" 

                     

 10:15             Subject Matter Session IV: Alice B. Popejoy, Ph.D.

                             Precision Medicine requires precise measures and methods: Examining current                                                          perceptions  and  use of 'race, 'ethnicity' and 'ancestry' among clinical genetics professionals                                  researchers

  11:00             Subject Matter Session VI:  Sam Oh, Ph.D., MPH

                             Can Precision Medicine Benefit Minorities If They Are Not Studied With Precision

                             Diversity in Clinical and Biomedical Research: A Promise Fulfilled

11:45 AM         LUNCH BREAK:   Virtual Lunch in the Virtual Lounge 

12:15  PM       Subject Matter Session V: Patricia Francis-Lyon, Ph.D. & Alexander Sobolevsky, Ph.D. 

                           “The structure and function of the calcium-selective channel TRPV6 and its possible role in                                       disease" 

 1:15 PM           Session VII Translational Speaker:  Marpu Sreekar, Ph.D. Chemistry, Materials Science

                            "Examining the Role of Nanomaterials and Optical Sensors for Genomics Research"

              

2:00 PM         BREAK

2:45 PM  THINK TANKS/Overview & Goals [Simultaneous]: Denise Perry Simmons, Ph.D.                       

                       Research Concepts: Empirical Investigations Causative Variants, Proof of Concept Ancestral                                     Genomics Variant Model;    Translation 6 SRIM target diseases bench to clinic; Funding                                             Opportunities: Developing  subject matter collaborative research

                     

3:00 PM THINK TANK Sessions

                       

4:00 PM THINK TANKS Summarizing Plenary  Session     

                                                          

4:15 PM  Closing Session: Pudur Jagadeeswaran, Ph.D

                  "How Tiny Zebrafish and their Surprisingly Human-Like Genome Can Benefit Medical Research"

Our Speakers, Panel Moderators  & Workshop Leaders 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:  Patrick Stover, Ph.D.   

Texas A&M University

Vice Chancellor and Dean for Agriculture & Life Sciences and Director for Texas A & M Agrilife Research 

Matthew Anderson,  Ph.D.  

Ohio State University Microbiologist & specialist in Native
American Indian health disparities

Kim E Barrett, Ph.D.   

Director, Division of Graduate Education, Education and Human Resources Directorate, National Science Foundation 

JudyAnn Bigby, M.D. 

Senior Fellow, Mathematica, former Secretary, Executive Office of Health & Human Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts 

Shauna Clark, Ph.D.  

 Director, NIH Academy, Office of Intramural Training & Education, National Institutes of Health 

Bertha A. Hidalgo, Ph.D., MPH   

 University of Alabama at Birmingham, Epidemiologist and research specialist in Genomics of Cardiometabolic Diseases in
Mexican Americans  

Alexander Sobolevsky, Ph.D.

Columbia University

Professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics and specialist in ion channel signaling of ancestral and derived gene variants, using cryo-electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography, electrophysiology and biophysical techniques.

Sreekar Marpu, Ph.D.

University of North Texas

Research Assistant Professor, in the fields of chemistry, materials science,  biosensors and nanoagents.
 

University of North Texas (UNT) Conference Planning Committee

 

Dorothy Bland, Ph.D.

 Communications Specialist and Journalism Professor 

Chandra Donnell Carey, Ph.D.

Academic Associate Dean in the College of Health and Public Service, Co-Director of the UNT Center for Racial and Ethnic Equity in Health and SocietyAssociate Dean of the College of Health and Public Service 

 Constance Hilliard, Ph.D. CO-CHAIR

Evolutionary Historian and Ancestral Genomics Theorist

Kate Imy, Ph.D.

Historian and Managing editor of the British Journal for Military History

Pudur Jagadeeswaran, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology with specialization in Medical Genetics, especially the use of zebrafish to study the genetics of hemostasis and thrombosis

Denise Perry Simmons, Ph.D., CO-CHAIR & Scientific Program Director

Cancer Biologist & Translational Biomedical Researcher - TAGRI Scientific Research Program Director  

Nancy Stockdale, Ph.D.

Historian of the Middle East & Gender Studies

 Xuexia Wang, Ph.D.

Mathematical Geneticist and Cancer Research Statistican

Georgia Dunston, Ph.D. 

Howard University

Professor of human immunogenetics and founding director of the National Human Genome Center at Howard University.

Patricia Francis-Lyon, Ph.D.

Director of Bioinformatics and Research, Digbi Health,

Associate Professor of Health Informatics & Computer Science, University of San Francisco (research includes investigation into the association between genomic factors and cancer in African-Americans

Neil Hanchard, M.D., Ph.D.

Baylor College of Medicine 

Associate Professor of Molecular & Human Genetics

Constance Hilliard, Ph.D.

University of North Texas, Professor of African Evolutionary History, Author of Ancestral Gene Variants (AGV) Model of Ethnic Disease Susceptibility and Professor of African Evolutionary History

Rick Kittles, Ph.D.

City of Hope National Medical Center

Geneticist and founding director of the Division of Health Equities at the City of Hope National Medical Center.

Jeffrey Long, Ph.D. 

University of New Mexico 

Evolutionary Anthropologist & Director, Genetics Computation Laboratory.

Shannon McCall, M.D.

Director of the Duke BioRepository & Precision Pathology Center (Duke BRPC), and Principal Investigator for the National Cancer Institute's Cooperative Human Tissue Network Southern Division

Sam Oh, Ph.D., MPH 

Director of Epidemiology, University of California at San Francisco,  Asthma Collaboratory

Kim Pruitt, Ph.D.

Chief, Information Engineering Branch, National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health 

Alice Popejoy, Ph.D.

Stanford University School of Medicine

Department of Biomedical Data Science, Postdoctoral Scholar in Biomedical Data Science and Co-Chair, ClinGen Ancestry and Diversity Working Group,

Denise Perry Simmons, Ph.D. 

University of North Texas (UNT) Senior Scientist Mechanical Engineering and Visiting Biomedical Faculty Chemistry; former UNT AVP Research Development, Director John Theurer Cancer Center Hackensack University Medical Center, NCI Cancer Research Fellow-  interests span the spectrum of transdisciplinary to affect translational outcomes.

Sponsors 

Educational Grant
 

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     Virtual Seating Limited

Contact

Constance Hilliard, Ph.D., Conference Chair

1155 Union Cir    Denton, Denton County 76203
 

940-565-4972

©2019 by UNT Transdisciplinary Conference on Ancestral Genomics, Denton, TX 76203

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