SelfDecode Celebrates Black History Month by Addressing the Underrepresentation of African Americans in Genetics Research

It is a well known problem that African Americans, and other minorities, suffer from a lack of representation within genetic research and databases. This presents a unique challenge for companies who use this research to provide gene-based products.

SelfDecode, a precision health software company, is implementing corrective AI models when analyzing the DNA files of minorities to address this issue. This helps to produce more accurate genetic predisposition scores and ensures that health recommendations are prioritized according to what is most likely best for the individual, no matter their ethnicity.

"As a company with nearly 40% of employees who are considered a minority in terms of genetic research, it is very important to us that we make our product as accurate as possible for all people," says Joe Cohen, CEO of SelfDecode. "We believe that every person has the right to leverage the powerful information contained within their DNA and be able to trust that the information they are receiving is relevant for them."

Problems with gene-based predictions for minorities arise because some ethnic groups carry gene variants that make them more likely to develop certain diseases than other ethnic groups.

When companies try to predict a person's risk of developing certain diseases, their predictions will be less accurate for people who are not of white European ancestry. This is due to a lack of diversity in genetics research.

"Mitigating this problem is key for SelfDecode. We view DNA as a mosaic. Each piece of DNA comes from a distinct source. The subtle differences in the mosaic are critical for optimizing the ability to predict disease risk," says Puya Yazdi, SelfDecode's Chief Scientific Officer. "This is why we use diverse populations to help us make predictions. We also conduct studies that aim to uncover what makes each of us unique."

Scientists still have a lot of work to do in order to provide racial equality within genetic research. However, SelfDecode is striving to bridge this gap by providing access to gene-based health insights that are as accurate as possible, regardless of a person's ethnicity.


SelfDecode is a fast-growing precision health company providing consumers and companies with advanced genetic analysis and personalized insights. Using AI, SelfDecode combines DNA, lab, and environmental data to provide science-based health advice tailored to each individual.

Media Contact:
Victoria Shelton 949-328-4072

Source: SelfDecode