UMN Psychology Researchers on How Globally Diverse Genetic Pools can Improve Genetic Analysis
University of Minnesota Psychology researchers led a large, global study to examine genetic variants associated with alcohol and tobacco use in a sample of 3.4 million individuals of diverse genetic ancestry. The study, “Genetic diversity fuels gene discovery for tobacco and alcohol use,” was recently published in Nature.
The research expanded on past work by increasing sample sizes and including individuals of diverse ancestries. This increase in size and diversity of the sample allowed researchers to improve the identification and fine-mapping resolution of genomic regions associated with substance use. Effect sizes of associated variants were mostly consistent across ancestry dimensions, suggesting a similar genetic architecture of tobacco and alcohol use behaviors.
The UMN researchers that were involved in this study:
Gretchen R.B. Saunders, Researcher in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota.
Seon-Kyeong Jang, Graduate student in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota.
Scott Vrieze, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota.