Vence L. Bonham, Jr., JD

Invited Speaker | Meeting the Challenge Summit

Vence Bonham, J.D. is the acting Deputy Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). He received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and his Juris Doctor degree from the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University.  Prior to joining the NHGRI at the National Institutes of Health, Mr. Bonham was a tenured faculty member at Michigan State University with appointments in the Colleges of Medicine and Law. He is currently an associate investigator in the National Human Genome Research Institute’s (NHGRI) Division of Intramural Research’s Social and Behavioral Research Branch. Within the branch, he leads the Health Disparities Unit, which investigates the equitable integration of new genomic knowledge and precision medicine into clinical settings. 

Mr. Bonham’s research focuses primarily on the social implications of new genomic knowledge, particularly in communities of color, how genomics influences the use of the constructs of race and ethnicity in biomedical research and clinical care, and the role of genomics in health inequities. The Bonham group also studies sickle cell disease, a condition that will be impacted by emerging curative genomic technologies but faces significant health disparities both in the United States and globally.

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Skin of color patients comprise the majority in California, New Mexico and Texas…and soon will be the majority in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, New York and Florida.

By 2042, more than 50% of the US population will have skin of color.