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Pharmacogenetics of T2D medications within the Māori and Pacific population

44 months
Approved budget:
Miss Zanetta Toomata
Professor Rinki Murphy
Dr Ofa Dewes
Associate Professor Phillip Wilcox
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Pacific Health PhD Scholarship
Lay summary
Māori and Pacific peoples of New Zealand are disproportionately affected by diabetes and its complications compared to other ethnicities, which is a highly significant health issue in New Zealand causing significant morbidity, mortality and health care costs. One of the contributing causes is the lack of precision medicine approaches to diabetes management and classification. T2D medication selection has the potential to be informed by clinical features such as age, gender, baseline lipids and specific genetic variants which are emerging as an important driver of patients’ glucose lowering response to different T2D medications. In our studies to date, we have identified two gene variants in CREBRF and SLC22A3, to be common in Māori and Pacific peoples (frequency >20%), but extremely rare in other populations. We hypothesise that the presence of these variants may result in altered glucose lowering responses to commonly prescribed T2D medications, in addition to simple clinical patient characteristics.