Gabe Malek - TD '20Gabriel (Gabe) Malek is a freshman in Timothy Dwight College from Houston, TX, considering majoring in either Ethics, Politics, and Economics or American Studies. Outside of the Roosevelt Institute, he is a member of The Dwight Hall SRI Fund and a staff writer for The Yale Politic.
Although many scholars identify race as a social construct determined by geopolitical history, genetic variation strongly correlates to the way in which individuals racially identify. Thus, because genetic differences account for variable responses to drugs, race too plays a crucial role in how drugs ought to be prescribed and developed. People across various racial groups react to the same treatments dissimilarly, rendering racial diversity in clinical drug testing crucial in ensuring that all members of society consume drugs appropriately.
Despite this scientific basis for heterogeneity in clinical research, “most physicians and scientists are informed by research extrapolated from a largely homogenous population, usually white and male,” according to UC San Francisco professor Sam Oh’s paper “Diversity in Clinical and Biomedical Research: A Promise Yet to Be Fulfilled.” Drug prescriptions and side effects consequently skew towards those of white individuals while racial minority groups’ reactions to drugs go neglected.
To ameliorate this issue plaguing the pharmaceutical industry, the Yale Roosevelt Institute’s Public Health Center hopes to investigate the clinical trial recruitment protocols of major drug companies to determine ways in which pharmaceutical giants can render their tests more diverse.