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Department of Science and Technology-National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence in Human Development, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Postgraduate Affairs), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
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Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Division of Human Genetics, National Health Laboratory Service and School of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Electronic address:
Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics (2016), 1, e20, page 1 of 13. doi:10.1017/gheg.2016.17
Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics
Africa is experiencing a rapid increase in adult obesity and associated cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs). The H3Africa AWIGen
Collaborative Centre was established to examine genomic and environmental factors that influence body composition,
body fat distribution and CMD risk, with the aim to provide insights towards effective treatment and intervention strategies.
It provides a research platform of over 10 500 participants, 40–60 years old, from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Following a process that involved community engagement, training of project staff and participant informed consent,
participants were administered detailed questionnaires, anthropometric measurements were taken and biospecimens collected.
This generated a wealth of demographic, health history, environmental, behavioural and biomarker data. The
H3Africa SNP array will be used for genome-wide association studies. AWI-Gen is building capacity to perform large epidemiological,
genomic and epigenomic studies across several African counties and strives to become a valuable resource for
research collaborations in Africa.