The Golden Helix Soccer Team
I recently received a very special email from a long time Golden Helix customer, Dr. Vanessa Hayes of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia. In 2010 Dr. Hayes, then of the J. Craig Venter Institute, joined several colleagues in collaboration on The Southern African Genome Project. The project was aimed at including African genomes in existing databases, such as HapMap, 1000 Genomes, etc.
Hayes’ work in the genome project not only helped to put African genomes on the map, but also led to a collaborative research project surrounding genetic admixture. The groups paper, “Complex Patterns of Genomic Admixture within Southern Africa“, was later published in 2013 in Plos ONE and gave insights into TB, polio and prostate cancer.
Hayes and her colleagues were very involved in The Southern African Genome Project and spent time collecting samples from the Bushmen people of the Kalahari in Namibia. Naturally, bonds were formed and friendships created. During a call with Hayes, she requested for Golden Helix to donate a handful of t-shirts which she could distribute to her friends of the Kalahari. Of course, we happily obliged!
Vanessa’s recent email was to notify me that she had finally collected the funds needed to return to Namibia and the people of the Kalahari in October. She distributed the t-shirts and as you can see from the photos she passed on, they were very well received. So much so, it was decided to form a soccer team called “Golden Helix”. We could not be more honored!
To read more about Dr. Vanessa Hayes work, you can read her case study in collaboration with Dr. Desiree Petersen, here.