Skip to Content
Author: The BCW

Regeneron in Coalition to Improve Health Outcomes for People of African Ancestry

Meharry Medical College, along with partners BCW Member Regeneron Genetics Center® (RGC™), AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk, and Roche, announced Wednesday the launch of the Together for CHANGE™ (“Changing Healthcare for People of African Ancestry through an InterNational Genomics & Equity”) initiative to create better health care and outcomes for all.

The Together for CHANGE initiative seeks to address inequities in STEM careers and research with a two-pronged approach. First, the Diaspora Human Genomics Institute (DHGI) will establish a grant program to support research and educational capacity in genomics and related fields at Meharry Medical College, as well as broader STEM programs in racially diverse communities for grade school-aged children. Second, in close consultation with the local Black community through listening sessions and ongoing input, the DHGI will help facilitate the building of the largest African ancestry genomics research database, composed of de-identified genomic and phenotypic data from up to 500,000 volunteer participants.

Meharry Medical College, one of the oldest and largest historically Black academic health sciences centers in the U.S., is a co-founder and academic convener of this initiative. The DHGI, a newly chartered non-profit organization, will serve as the governing organization for Together for CHANGE. Data collected from the Together for CHANGE initiative will be secured and managed by the DHGI to ensure the integrity and transparency of all activities of the initiative.

Additionally, the DHGI will form an ethics committee with leaders from the Black community to provide stewardship of the data. Accenture will also provide support as a strategic partner to the DHGI as the program rolls out.

Meharry worked with Regeneron Genetics Center to convene three founding partners for the initiative, AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk, and Roche, and welcome participation from additional partners. Each organization intends to make contributions worth $20 million during the initiative, with Regeneron Genetics Center also undertaking and funding the sequencing of genetic samples. The DHGI launch is underway, with more information about study participation and grants to be available later this year.

“People of African ancestry have been underrepresented in genomics studies, which leads to clinical genetic testing that has less reference data and less confident testing results,” said Aris Baras, M.D., Senior Vice President, Regeneron, and Head of Regeneron Genetics Center. “At RGC, we know that genetic databases function best as global resources when they reflect humanity’s broad spectrum of ethnic and genetic diversity, so that the resulting research and medical innovation may benefit all populations. With one of the most diverse genomic datasets in the world, we are immensely proud to spearhead this impactful initiative that aims to shift the makeup of available genetic data and better equip promising students and researchers to create much-needed medicines of the future.”

More information can be found at TheDHGI.org.

Similar News Items

The Business Council of Westchester’s Valley Bank Leadership Conversations welcomed New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Thursday to share insights into her career and personal journey. Marsha Gordon, the BCW’s president and CEO, moderated the conversation at Kanopi in White Plains, where Stewart-Cousins recounted her diverse career path, including roles in customer service, […]

Read Article

If there is one subject virtually all business leaders agree on, it is that New York State’s energy landscape is changing. The challenge is that the paths forward are numerous, confusing and often are at odds with the practical realities of implementation costs and technological challenges. The Business Council of Westchester has spent the last […]

Read Article

The Business Council of Westchester’s Westchester Innovation Network (WIN) continues its mission of fostering innovation by facilitating a match between former WPHS graduate and recent Sacred Heart University graduate Michael Berlingo and seasoned executive coach Sunni Lampasso. This collaboration brings together the youthful energy and vision of Berlingo, CEO of Starteryou, with the wisdom and […]

Read Article

Become A Member

Join the county’s largest and most influential business organization today.

JOIN NOW!
The Business Council of Westchester is committed to helping businesses market, learn, advocate, and grow. Over 80 events and programs are offered every year, giving our members ample opportunity to connect and meet with businesses representatives in the Westchester community and beyond.
Back to top