Sarah Tishkoff and Collaborators Receive Grant to Study How Genetic Ancestry Influences Health

Sarah Tishkoff, David and Lyn Silfen University Professor

An international team led by Sarah Tishkoff, David and Lyn Silfen University Professor in biology and genetics, has been awarded $2.7 million from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Donor Advised Fund. It is one of 16 new projects funded by the initiative to provide insights into how genetic ancestry influences health and disease at the level of our cells. Tishkoff and collaborators will study gene expression and epigenetic variation in African immigrant populations in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Belgium, as well as populations from Morocco and Tanzania. This project provides a unique opportunity to distinguish how genetics and environment impact gene expression and immune response in each of these populations, increasing the understanding of variable risk for multiple diseases.

Tishkoff holds appointments in Penn Arts & Sciences and Perelman School of Medicine, and is Director of Penn’s Center for Global Genomics and Health Equity. Her research combines field work, laboratory research, and computational methods to examine African population history and how genetic variation can affect a wide range of traits: for example, why humans have different susceptibility to disease, how they metabolize drugs, and how they adapt through evolution.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative works to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges, from eradicating disease and improving education to addressing the needs of local communities.

To read more about the project, click here.


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