Training and education: That's how we're fostering neuropsychiatric genetics research capacity in long-excluded communities around the world.
Get to know us.
What is GINGER?
There are tremendous, unmet gaps in our understanding of how genetics influence mental health in much of the world. Why? A historical “legacy of exclusion” across the sciences means we’ve long ignored research and data from non-European communities – the kinds of discovery and understanding that could help us transform how we encounter and treat mental health.
But there are a growing number of deeply committed, brilliant young scientists looking to change that. And like any group of researchers, they need training, infrastructure and support.
That’s why GINGER exists – to foster genetics research capacity around the world through education, working to close gaps in mental health training and knowledge in long-excluded communities.
From our Research Fellows, Teaching Fellows and Applied Research Mentors to our on-site Short Courses, our programs empower local scientists to lead their own efforts, connect with like-minded researchers, and leverage each other’s expertise in search of groundbreaking answers.
We’re training, connecting and supporting the next global generation of neuropsychiatric genetics researchers.
Here’s how we fit in.
We’re the education arm of the Stanley Global Neuropsychiatric Genetics Initiative (a.k.a. Stanley Global). Stanley Global is a worldwide effort to expand the diversity of the genetic data available on psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. How? By collecting, sequencing, and analyzing genetic samples and phenotypic information from diverse – and once excluded – communities around the world.
Stanley Global launched in response to that ongoing “legacy of exclusion” we keep mentioning – and out of a desire to collect and use data in a more equitable way. Across Stanley Global initiatives, our partners around the world are equal contributors to research and knowledge.
GINGER meets the crucial need to foster global capacity for neuropsychiatric genetics exploration, and help expand the diversity of the researchers themselves. We’re a collaboration between Stanley Global researchers, which is based out of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, as well as seven partner centers in four African countries and one in Mexico.
Here’s a full list of Stanley Global’s Initiatives:
Meet our global partners.
GINGER’s workshops, virtual classrooms and onsite trainings wouldn’t be possible without collaboration and support from our partner organizations around the world:
The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (Cambridge, MA)
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Boston, MA)
Addis Ababa University (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
Moi University (Eldoret, Kenya)
University of Cape Town (Cape Town, South Africa)
National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz (Mexico City, Mexico)
Makerere University (Kampala, Uganda)
KEMRI– Wellcome Trust (Kilifi, Kenya)
University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban, South Africa)
Walter Sisulu University (Mthatha, South Africa)
What about GINGER’s future?
We’re addressing the lack of diversity and representation within genetics research. But we’re always looking to what comes next.
Our hope? That we’re setting the stage for GINGER Fellows and Partners to expand their work while mentoring, training and helping produce generations of genetics researchers to come. We’re also encouraging next level collaborations between our partner institutions. These joint efforts will overcome the shortage of skilled genetics researchers in the global south – and with time help create new therapies and answers for people struggling with mental health around the world.
Beyond genetics, we hope to take this model and apply it to different scientific communities. From specialized medicine to artificial intelligence, GINGER’s methods could help train and pave the way for brilliant minds to introduce new data and ideas, and create the kinds of scientific discoveries that change lives.
Interested in collaborating with us as a Fellow or Partner? Or curious how GINGER’s methods could apply to your scientific field? Get in touch with us today.
We’re nothing without our history.
- To date, large-scale genetic studies to date rely heavily on genomes with European ancestry
All this while East and South Asia account for more than half of humanity, and 14 percent of the world is of African descent. The lack of diversity in genetic studies has skewed our understanding of the full diversity of human genetics and how disease manifests in different populations.
- The Stanley Center (SC) for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute launches
SC launches with support from a $100 million commitment from the philanthropists Ted and Vada Stanley. SC seeks to reduce the burden of serious mental illness through research. Stanley Global and GINGER, NeuroGAP-Psychosis, NeuroDev and more all follow from the Stanley Center’s creation.
- H3Africa Consortium Launches
The Human Hereditary and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Initiative forms with a contemporary approach to the study of genomics and environmental determinants of common diseases – with an end goal of improving mental health in African populations. H3Africa is crucial in paving the way for expansive genetics work on the continent.
- The Stanley Global Neuropsychiatric Genetics Initiative (Stanley Global) launches
Stanley Global forms in reaction to a lack of diverse data – looking to diversify genetic sample collection outside of the United States and Northern Europe to include Asian, Latin American, and African populations and beyond.
The commitment — the largest ever made for psychiatric research — is made to support researchers affiliated with the center and was aimed at “enhancing scientific research on psychiatric disorders with the hopes of leading to a breakthrough in new treatments.”
- NeuroDev launches
The study of the genetics of child development, with an emphasis on autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disability (ID), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), launches in collaboration with partners in Kenya and South Africa. The NeuroDev team aims to collect genetic and health information from more than 5,000 people.
- NeuroGenE launches
NeuroGenE’s strategic program of ethics — comprising an interdisciplinary program of bioethics research, ethics advice, training, and capacity building for scientific investigators — supports Stanley Global’s research capacity building partnerships in Africa and beyond.
- GINGER launches
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard team up with multiple research and academic institutions in East and South Africa to create a global neuropsychiatric genetics training program, GINGER which launches in July of 2017.
- NeuroGAP-Psychosis begins recruitment
NeuroGAP-Psychosis aims to understand the genetic underpinnings of psychiatric diseases like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in African populations.
- GINGER celebrates graduation of first cohort of research fellows
After three years of study, 17 fellows from across Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa graduate and continue their work in Neuropsychiatric Genetics
- A new cohort of seven GINGER fellows begins training
GINGER’s second group of fellows come together for virtual learning and in-person workshops in the U.S., Uganda, South Africa and Ethiopia
Want to know more?
You can explore our programs here, catch the latest news from GINGER and get in with touch us here.