Categorization of humans in biomedical research: genes, race and disease
1 Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5120, USA
2 Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA 94611-5714, USA
3 Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
4 Department of Statistics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Genome Biology 2002, 3:comment2007-comment2007.12 doi:10.1186/gb-2002-3-7-comment2007Published: 1 July 2002
A debate has arisen regarding the validity of racial/ethnic categories for biomedical and genetic research. Some claim 'no biological basis for race' while others advocate a 'race-neutral' approach, using genetic clustering rather than self-identified ethnicity for human genetic categorization. We provide an epidemiologic perspective on the issue of human categorization in biomedical and genetic research that strongly supports the continued use of self-identified race and ethnicity.