Genomic Origins and Admixture in Latinos (GOAL)

Among some of the most intriguing research being conducted at the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics (HIHG) is the development of the haplotype map, or HapMap – a groundbreaking effort to compile a master list of common genetic differences among human populations throughout the world.

A haplotype, a contraction of the phrase “haploid genotype”, is a set of closely linked genetic markers present on one chromosome that tend to be inherited together. In many parts of our chromosomes, just a handful of haplotypes are found. In a given population, 55 percent of people may have one version of a haplotype, 30 percent may have another, 8 percent may have a third. The rest may have a variety of less common haplotypes. While researchers are developing HapMaps all around the world, the HIHG project is focusing on an authoritative HapMap of the Caribbean, Central and South America. It will especially help families whose roots are in traditionally neglected populations like those in Haiti or nations in Central America like Guatemala.

HIHG researchers led by Dr. Eden Martin are recruiting individuals along with their biological parents for this study. Medical information about the participating individuals will not be collected, but their ethnic or geographic group will be recorded. We hope to gain valuable insights into how a variety of different diseases and conditions develop in order to develop better diagnostic and treatment approaches.

If you are 14 or older with both living parents and ethnicity from the following Latin American and Caribbean countries: Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Peru, and Puerto Rico, you can help by participating in the study. Please go to our study participation section to enroll online for this study.