Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is one of the most common diseases in Mexico, where its incidence is higher than the global rate. The SIGMA project set out to systematically identify the genetic risk factors that contribute to this disparity, and translate those findings into improved methods of diabetes treatment and prevention.
In the first phase of the project, SIGMA scientists sequenced and characterized more than 10,000 tissue samples from Mexican and Mexican Americans. This unprecedented analysis led to the discovery of the first identified common genetic variant shown to predispose Latin American populations to the disease. This finding provides unique biological insight into T2D and may present opportunities for therapeutic research and development.
Going forward, SIGMA is focused on completing the genetic analysis of T2D in Mexico, and translating this knowledge into more effective new approaches to prevention and treatment.