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Keolu Fox Geneticist + Researcher + Surfer

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"The Cure to Cancer may be at our Doorstep"

Featured on the BBC, CBC, NPR, The Atlantic, Forbes, Wired and more, TED Fellow, Dr. Keolu Fox has garnered international attention, for his breakthrough idea that 'Genetics needs to be more Native'. With over 95% of genetic research and trials being conducting on only people of European descent, we are missing out. Our genetic ancestry plays a huge role in what diseases we get and what ones we don’t. Dr. Fox proves that genetic studies should include all demographics.

Dr. Keolu Fox is the first Native Hawaiian to receive a Ph.D. in genome sciences. Dr. Fox's research interests include genome sequencing technologies, genome editing, and indigenizing medical research. Dr. Fox is currently a post-doctoral fellow in Alan Saltiel's research group at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. His work focuses on using genome sequencing/editing technologies to investigate the molecular events involved in the regulation of glucose uptake and storage, with special attention to mechanisms underlying the specificity of the actions of insulin and the links between obesity and diabetes in underrepresented minority populations. He has been awarded grants through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published his findings in journals such as Blood, The American Journal of Human Genetics, Nature Communications, Transfusion, and Human Evolutionary Genetics. Along with fellow Indigenous geneticists Katrina Claw (PhD) and Joe Yracheta, Dr. Fox co-founded IndiGenomics, a tribal non-profit organization with a mission of bringing genomic expertise to Indigenous communities, empowering Indigenous research capacity and positively contributing to health research with Indigenous communities for present and future generations.

Dr. Fox’s mission is to increase ethnic diversity in genome studies in order to figure out why certain populations — including Indigenous peoples — experience higher rates of common chronic diseases. He is also creating tools that empower Indigenous peoples to be partners in their own health research, including a mobile genome-sequencing platform, interactive informed consent forms and a tribal consultation resource.

More recently, Fox worked at the National Institutes of Health, under Dr. Ed Ramos, who advised Barack Obama (as a Senator) on the creation of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, a law that prohibits the use of genetic information to discriminate in the provision of health insurance and employment.

Dr. Keolu Fox is the first Native Hawaiian to receive a Ph.D. in genome sciences. Dr. Fox's research interests include genome sequencing technologies, genome editing, and indigenizing medical research. Dr. Fox is currently a post-doctoral fellow in Alan Saltiel's research group at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. His work focuses on using genome sequencing/editing technologies to investigate the molecular events involved in the regulation of glucose uptake and storage, with special attention to mechanisms underlying the specificity of the actions of insulin and the links between obesity and diabetes in underrepresented minority populations. He has been awarded grants through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published his findings in journals such as Blood, The American Journal of Human Genetics, Nature Communications, Transfusion, and Human Evolutionary Genetics. Along with fellow Indigenous geneticists Katrina Claw (PhD) and Joe Yracheta, Dr. Fox co-founded IndiGenomics, a tribal non-profit organization with a mission of bringing genomic expertise to Indigenous communities, empowering Indigenous research capacity and positively contributing to health research with Indigenous communities for present and future generations.

Dr. Fox’s mission is to increase ethnic diversity in genome studies in order to figure out why certain populations — including Indigenous peoples — experience higher rates of common chronic diseases. He is also creating tools that empower Indigenous peoples to be partners in their own health research, including a mobile genome-sequencing platform, interactive informed consent forms and a tribal consultation resource.

More recently, Fox worked at the National Institutes of Health, under Dr. Ed Ramos, who advised Barack Obama (as a Senator) on the creation of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, a law that prohibits the use of genetic information to discriminate in the provision of health insurance and employment.

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