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Racism, genetics and Māori health inequity

By Irene Kereama-Royal

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the Māori Early Career Development in Cancer Research Awards.

Irene Kereama-Royal

Read about Irene Kereama-Royal, one of the Award recipients.

Te Ira Tangata, Te Oranga Whānau - Racism, genetics and Māori health inequity: An examination of the contribution of racism in genetics to cancer inequities among whānau Māori


Irene Kereama-Royal (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Maniapoto) is a researcher based in Auckland and a PhD student at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

Irene’s PhD examines the reasons for mistrust among whānau Māori with participating in genetics research and identifying the potential of genomics health to lift Māori health inequities in cancers.

Irene says: "The funding is important - it provides a deeper understanding from whānau Māori voices about the barriers and disparities that lead to low participation rates in genetics based research, for example, where whānau have familial cancer.”

This work draws upon her own whānau’s personal journey with cancer and achieving whānau wellbeing through the knowledge of genomics health.