Collaborative genomics for human health
and cooperation in the Mediterranean region
Tayfun Özçelik, Moien Kanaan, Karen B Avraham, Drakoulis Yannoukakos, André Mégarbané,
Ghazi O Tadmouri, Lefkos Middleton, Giovanni Romeo, Mary-Claire King & Ephrat Levy-Lahad
the US government has proposed the development of scientific centers of excellence to solve global challenges.
We propose such a center of excellence devoted to the genomic analysis of mediterranean populations of all creeds.
this genomic focus is rooted in the region's demographic history, builds on the area's rapidly developing expertise in
human genetics, and will yield scientific discoveries of both local and global significance. the genome sequence data
of mediterranean populations will offer unique insights into human evolution and early human migration. the potent
combination of highly consanguineous populations in the mediterranean's southern and eastern rims and regional
medical and scientific expertise could lead to the identification and characterization of many genes responsible for
human disease. Such discoveries will enable genetic knowledge to be translated into medical knowledge that will benefit
local populations and contribute substantially to the understanding of the genetic bases of human diseases worldwide.
In Cairo in June 2009, US President Obama
spoke of the importance of international col-
laboration for scientific and technological
development1. This speech was followed by
fact-finding visits by American Science Envoys