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9 January 2024

ALIGN researchers, led by Dr Yassine Souilmi, have secured funding through the Australian Academy of Science Theo Murphy Initiative 2023-24.

Dr Souilmi is a Research Fellow specialising in Bioinformatics, Genomics, Evolutionary medicine at the University of Adelaide, and a member of the ALIGN network and the BODL team. He has assembled a team of other early- and mid-career researchers (EMCRs) from across the national ALIGN network. The funding will support their initiative entitled Indigenous Genomics and Responsible Research: Bridging the Knowledge Gap through a Massive Open Online Course.

As we know, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives are undervalued and misrepresented in Australia. It is of the utmost importance for educators to address the critical gap in technical, legal, ethical, and cultural training in Indigenous genomics. By developing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and an educational website, the team will provide a widely accessible educational resource for EMCRs in this field, as well as others.

Dr Souilmi explains “The objective of the project is, under Indigenous leadership and governance, to address “unknown unknowns” by helping EMCRs discover gaps in their knowledge. By providing insights and knowledge they may not have been exposed to previously, the MOOC will contribute to their personal and professional development.”

By equipping EMCRs with the necessary knowledge and skills, the team aims to empower them to contribute effectively to Indigenous genomics research and healthcare practices and help cultivate a broader cultural awareness and competency.

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