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$7M awarded for genomics research


Toronto, ON – In conjunction with the Ontario Genomics Institute, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation has awarded four new projects a total of $7 million in funding.

The projects are as follows:

At the University of Ottawa, Drs. Alain Stintzi and David Mack and their team are using personalized medicine to diagnose and treat children suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.  The team is developing a simple, cost-effective and non-invasive approach to detecting the disease. ($748,359)

At the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, Drs. Kym Boycott and Alex MacKenzie and their team are aiming to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of rare genetic diseases. The team is using new gene sequencing to develop earlier and better diagnoses, and more effective treatments for these rare diseases caused by gene mutations. ($2,500,000)

At the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Drs. Stephen Scherer and Peter Szatmari are leading a team researching autism spectrum disorders ($2,499,997). The team aims to identify the remaining genetic risk factors associated with this illness.

At the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research in Toronto, Drs. Lincoln Stein and Tony Godfrey are leading a team researching earlier detection of esophageal cancer (funding being provided via the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research). Chronic heartburn can damage the lining of the esophagus, leading to a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. The team aims to supplement a new test that can allow for rapid and cost-effective early detection and diagnosis of the condition in a doctor’s office. ($1,223,042).

“These personalized health projects have enormous potential to improve the lives of people facing serious illnesses in Canada and beyond,” said Mark Poznansky, president and CEO, Ontario Genomics Institute, at the announcement. “Advances in personalized health are a direct result of support for groundbreaking research.”