MIT Technology Review – David Rotman
In the 15 years since the Human Genome Project first exposed our DNA blueprint, vast amounts of genetic data have been collected from millions of people in many different parts of the world. Carlos D. Bustamante’s job is to search that genetic data for clues to everything from ancient history and human migration patterns to the reasons people with different ancestries are so varied in their response to common diseases.
Bustamante’s career has roughly spanned the period since the Human Genome Project was completed. A professor of genetics and biomedical data science at Stanford and 2010 winner of a MacArthur genius award, he has helped to tease out the complex genetic variation across different populations. These variants mean that the causes of diseases can vary greatly between groups. Part of the motivation for Bustamante, who was born in Venezuela and moved to the US when he was seven, is to use those insights to lessen the medical disparities that still plague us.