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Pharmacogenomics, human genetic diversity and the incorporation and rejection of color/race in Brazil

Ventura Santos, R; da Silva, GO; Gibbon, S; (2015) Pharmacogenomics, human genetic diversity and the incorporation and rejection of color/race in Brazil. BioSocieties , 10 (1) 48 - 69. 10.1057/biosoc.2014.21. Green open access

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Abstract

Public funding for research on the action of drugs in countries like the United States requires that racial classification of research subjects should be considered when defining the composition of the samples as well as in data analysis, sometimes resulting in interpretations that Whites and Blacks differ in their pharmacogenetic profiles. In Brazil, pharmacogenomic results have led to very different interpretations when compared with those obtained in the United States. This is explained as deriving from the genomic heterogeneity of the Brazilian population. This article argues that in the evolving field of pharmacogenomics research in Brazil there is simultaneously both an incorporation and rejection of the US informed race-genes paradigm. We suggest that this must be understood in relation to continuities with national and transnational history of genetic research in Brazil, a differently situated politics of Brazilian public health and the ongoing valorization of miscegenation or race mixture by Brazilian geneticists as a resource for transnational genetic research. Our data derive from anthropological investigation conducted in INCA (Brazilian National Cancer Institute), in Rio de Janeiro, with a focus on the drug warfarin. The criticism of Brazilian scientists regarding the uses of racial categorization includes a revision of mathematical algorithms for drug dosage widely used in clinical procedures around the world. Our analysis reveals how the incorporation of ideas of racial purity and admixture, as it relates to the efficacy of drugs, touches on issues related to the possibility of application of pharmaceutical technologies on a global scale.

Type: Article
Title: Pharmacogenomics, human genetic diversity and the incorporation and rejection of color/race in Brazil
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1057/biosoc.2014.21
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/biosoc.2014.21
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Ltd. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/.
Keywords: color/race; race mixture; anthropology of science; pharmacogenomics; health policy; Brazil
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1453506
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