URMC team seeks to close racial gap in medical research

URMC team seeks to close racial gap in medical research

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University of Rochester Medical Center.

In early 2020, researchers at the Center for Health and Technology at the University of Rochester Medical Center were conducting one of their many studies, and they noticed a strange pattern.

“We focus on neurological disorders, and a lot of the participants at our study tended to be caucasian, but neurological disorders don’t discriminate by race,” said Ifunanya Dallah, a member of the study team. 

Rochester is a diverse city, where nearly 40% of the population is Black, 48% is white, and at least 37% is Hispanic, according to the most recent United States Census. 

The medical study’s lack of diversity was problematic, said Olivia Brumfield, another of study’s team members. 

“If all of your research is being conducted on one kind of person, it’s not generalizable for the kind of world we live in, or even the people who live next door,” said Brumfield.

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