Find your roots. Know your story.

Understand who you are, where you come from and how you connect with the world.

explore your ancestry

The power of diversity.

Estimates show that more than 90 percent of the research into the genetics underlying disease has been conducted on people of European ancestry.

Whether this has been due to historical, cultural, economic or social reasons, we believe genetics and the study of disease and drug development should be for everyone. All ethnicities. All humans.

Our customer base includes large numbers of self-identified African Americans, Latinos and Asians. As we increase our understanding of different populations, we can better predict ancestry and perform fine-scale genetic mapping that can also be crucial for detecting associations with disease via admixture mapping.

"23andMe presents a tremendous opportunity for African Americans to learn essential information about themselves, their families and their ancestry."

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University

Our Roots into the Future® Project

Our commitment to diversity drives this large-scale genetics study of African Americans.

  • JUL 2011

    We launched this genetic study of more than 10,000 African Americans in an effort to better understand the connection between DNA and disease.

  • OCT 2012

    Published preliminary findings. View the presentation.

  • NOV 2013

    We kicked off our first African Ancestry Project, which recruited people with four grandparents from Sub-Saharan Africa. Our goal: to improve our knowledge of African genetic diversity.

  • DEC 2014

    We published the first ever genetic portrait of the United States, showing the complex mixture of African, Native American and European ancestry.

  • APR/MAY 2016

    We reached the milestone of 45,000 African Americans participating in 23andMe research.

    We received an NIH grant to help us develop a new analysis pipeline that may alleviate disparities in research.

"We're distant cousins."

What will you discover about your ancestry?

Explore now.

The first genetic portrait of the United States.

Using data gathered from the 23andMe Roots into the Future project we published "The genetic ancestry of African, Latino, and European Americans across the United States," the first large-scale national mapping of genetic ancestry that reflects historical migrations. It appeared in the American Journal of Human Genetics on December 18, 2014.

"We show that the signatures of recent historical migrations can be seen in the DNA of present-day Americans. Furthermore, our results can inform the design of medical genetic studies. For example, the presence of Native American and African ancestry in European Americans may have implications for genetic studies of complex diseases."--Dr. Kasia Bryc, 23andMe Population Geneticist

Funding for more diversity in research.

In April of 2016, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded a 23andMe study that could help alleviate some of the existing disparities in genetics research between people of European ancestry and people of African, Latino and Asian ancestry.

With our data and this funding we aim to gain insights into genetic variants important for populations that are underrepresented in current research on health conditions and traits.

Project advisors. Key visionaries.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., PhD

is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Dr. Gates earned his PhD in English Literature from Clare College at the University of Cambridge. Dr. Gates is Editor-in-Chief of TheRoot.com, a daily online magazine focusing on issues of interest to the African American community. With Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, he is the co-editor of the eight-volume biographical encyclopedia African American National Biography (Oxford, 2008). Dr. Gates is also the author of Faces of America (New York University Press, 2010), which expands on interviews he conducted for his critically acclaimed PBS documentary series of the same name.

Erica Baker

is an avid genealogy researcher who has been researching her family tree since 2004 with the ultimate goal of tracing poorly documented African American branches of her tree back to Africa. Erica was an engineer at Google for over ten years and now works at Slack Technologies. She's been an advocate for more diversity in Silicon Valley, and worked to push companies to be more transparent about the diversity of their workforce. In 2015 the noted tech journalist Kara Swisher singled out Erica as a woman to watch in the coming years.

Carlos Bustamante, PhD

is Professor of Genetics at Stanford University. Dr. Bustamante earned his PhD in biology, along with an M.A. in statistics, at Harvard University in 2001. His scientific interests center on population genetics with a focus on analyzing genome-wide patterns of variation to address fundamental questions in biology, anthropology, and medicine. His most current research focuses on human population genomics and global health including developing statistical, computational, and genomic resources for enabling trans- and multi-ethnic genome-wide association and medical sequencing studies of common human diseases. Dr. Bustamante is the recipient of numerous awards including a MacArthur Fellows Award.

Pardis Sabeti, M.D. D.Phil.

Dr. Pardis Sabeti is Associate Professor at the Center for Systems Biology and Departments of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and of Immunology and Infectious Disease at Harvard University, an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and a Howard Hughes Investigator. Dr. Sabeti is a computational geneticist with expertise developing algorithms to detect genetic signatures of adaptation in humans and the microbial organisms that infect humans. She is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, was named a TIME magazine 'Person of the Year' as one of the Ebola fighters and is lead singer and co-song writer of the rock band Thousand Days.

Hi. Still have questions about Roots into the Future?

If you don't see your question here, get in touch with us.

  • Why is genetic research into African American populations important to 23andMe?
  • What is the Roots into the Future project?
  • What are the results to date?
  • What research questions does the Roots into the Future project address?
  • I have heard of the Tuskegee study, how is this project different?
  • Are 23andMe customers required to take part in research?
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