About Us

Yá’át’ééh! Aloha! Narhi erandiski!

Our partnership began in graduate school as a journal club where we recognized ourselves as a unique group in genomics: Indigenous Scientists interested in Indigenous Genomics. As we read scientific articles, we noticed the lack of representation of indigenous peoplesin genomics research, and the potential health benefits that remained untapped. We wanted to use our scientific knowledge to enhance tribal and indigenous research capacity and sovereignty. Our ideas blossomed into Indigenous Genomics, or IndiGenomics, in which we aim to share knowledge, our expertise, and bridge the divide between scientific research and indigenous communities.

We seek to be the bridges between our communities and scientific research.

Joe Yracheta, M.Sc. (P'urhepecha & Raramuri)

Joe is a researcher at a Lakota community-based company, Missouri Breaks Industries Research, Inc. (MBIRI). He obtained his MS in Pharmaceutics in 2014 from the University of Washington. Joe has grounded his research education in public health, anthropology, and American Indian studies coursework. He was a biomedical technician at Loyola University and the University of Wisconsin, as well as a high school science/math teacher in South Dakota reservation communities for many years. Joe is an Indigenous American and his origins are from Mexico (P’urhepecha and Raramuri Indians) and his wife and children are enrolled members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (CRST).

Joe has extensive community based participatory action and justice research in American Indigenous communities through the Northwest-Alaska Pharmacogenomics Research Network, the Center for Genomics & Health Care Equality, the Strong Heart Study, and the Summer Internship for Native American in Genomics.

Katrina Claw, Ph.D. (Diné/Navajo)

Katrina is Diné/Navajo, and her clans are Tó'áhani (Near the Water clan), born for Deeshchii'nii (Start of the Red Streak People clan), maternal grandfathers are Tódích’íí’nii (Bitter Water clan), and paternal grandfathers are Bit'ahnii (Under His Cover clan). She grew up on the Navajo Nation in Many Farms, Arizona, and continues to go home every chance she gets. 

Katrina is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Washington working with the Northwest-Alaska Pharmacogenomics Research Network and the Center for the Genomics and Healthcare Equity. She is a 2015 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. She obtained her BS in biology and BA in anthropology at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ in 2006; her PhD in genome sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA in 2013, where she was also a National Science Foundation predoctoral fellow. Her research interests include human genetics and genomics, the ethical and social implications of such research, especially in Native American and other indigenous populations, and non-human evolution.

Keolu Fox, Ph.C. (Kanaka Maoli/Native Hawaiian)

Keolu is a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington, Department of Genome Sciences. His research focuses on discovering genetic variants that contribute to health disparities in diverse populations. Keolu obtained his BA in biological anthropology at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD in 2008. From 2009-2010, he worked as a research fellow at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, MD. He is currently a National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein predoctoral fellow, a Smithsonian next-generation Native researcher, and 2016 TED fellow. His research interests include genome sequencing technologies, genome editing, and Indigenizing medical research.