Health technology company, 54gene has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Academy of Sciences and Technology of Senegal (ANSTS) to announce the SEN-GENOME Genetics Research Study.
The essence of the study is to explore the genetic diversity of Senegalese populations in order to establish the bases of Precision Medicine in the country, Africa and the world.
“Africans are the most genetically diverse population and this study is a significant step in enabling Senegal to advance the practice of Precision Medicine in the country. We’re honored to collaborate with our partners in Senegal as the country continues to consolidate leadership and innovation by becoming one of the few African countries where genomics research is a reality,” said 54gene founder and CEO Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong.
The study, which is also in partnership with the Department of Human Genetics of the Faculty of Medicine will establish a full genomic database of the Senegalese population, allowing 54gene to work with local partners in Senegal to produce an unprecedented full reference genome of the Senegalese population.
The research, which will begin in July 2022 with the first results expected by the end of the year is to be conducted across Senegal, encompassing all of the country’s major ethnolinguistic groups.
The results of SEN-GENOME will contribute to the exploration of Precision Medicine for health conditions such as Infectious Diseases, Non-Communicable Diseases and Rare Diseases. SEN GENOME to contribute to the understanding of humanity’s evolutionary history as well as genealogical research for the African diaspora.
Commenting, spokesperson for the National Academy of Sciences and Technology of Senegal, Professor Aynina Cisse, said, “SEN-GENOME is a research project initiated by the National Academy of Sciences and Techniques of Senegal (ANSTS), in collaboration with the Human Genetics Department of the Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Odonto-Stomatology (UCAD). The idea germinated, following the observation made by the researchers that the reference sequence of the human genome currently used, does not reflect the genetic diversity of the African populations in general and Senegalese in particular.”
The study will recruit participants from all regions of the West African country and is expected to establish a baseline genetic characterisation of the Senegalese population. Through the collaboration, 54gene will bring its expertise and support the training of Senegalese scientists. 54gene is also committed to collaborating with its Senegalese partners on additional projects.