Welcome to the third SING Aotearoa internship programme. The Summer Internship for Indigenous Genomics is an initiative that emerged from the Te Waka o Tama-rereti project and is continuing as a key activity within Genomics Aotearoa.
In recent years there has been significant advances in the fields of genetics and genomics and an increasing focus on Maori populations and indigenous species. All research conducted in Aotearoa New Zealand should involve consultation with Iwi Maori so it is important that we understand enough about the technical, ethical and cultural issues to engage researchers in robust discussions during that process.
The SING Aotearoa programme is designed to develop your understanding of genomics alongside some of the best researchers in New Zealand. We are grateful that researchers like Aroha Mead, Dr Sara Filoche, Dr Kirsty Danielson, Dr Donia Macartney-Coxon, and Associate Professor Greg Jones have made space to spend time with us and share their knowledge and experience. Make use of this time by asking lots of questions.
The SING-Aotearoa workshop is a week-long internship modelled on an existing SING-USA programme. We are fortunate to have a faculty mentor from the USA programme coming to join us in Aotearoa. Dr Joseph Yracheta will add an international dimension to the programme and bring his experience working with American Indian and Alaska Native interns.
ESR and the Wellington School of Medicine are our hosts for 2018. The Wellington School of Medicine is one of the University of Otago’s key research and medical training facilities, and Environmental Science and Research (ESR) is a crown research institute that specialises in science relating to people and communities. ESR’s science helps safeguard people’s health, protect food-based economies, improve the safety of freshwater and groundwater resources, and contributes expert forensic science to justice systems. We are also grateful for the time and resources that are being committed by a range of people and organisations including Plant and Food Research to support this initiative.
While genetics has been a lightning rod for debate in past years we hope that this workshop provides a space to share ideas and thoughts in an informative way.
Mā te mōhio ka mārama, Mā te mārama ka mātau, Mā te mātau ka ora. Through awareness comes understanding, through understanding comes knowledge, through knowledge comes wellbeing. Kia ora koutou katoa.
Maui Hudson, Phil Wilcox, Katharina Ruckstuhl