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Collaboration to focus on chronic disease risk factors


Halifax, NS – The National Research Council (NRC) and Dalhousie University have announced a collaborative research project to decode the risk factors that make people more or less susceptible to cancer, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.

The two-year pilot study contributes to the Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (PATH).

The researchers will select 3,000 volunteers from a cross-section of Atlantic Canadians aged 35-69. Volunteers’ blood/urine or biological samples will be profiled for biomarkers of cancer, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases at NRC’s Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance Facility (BMRF) in Halifax. The QEII Foundation has provided funding for the BMRF analysis.

Results will be compared with personal and geographical information, which may influence health.

“Data from this study will help answer several questions including potential risk factors and susceptibility to cancer and cardiovascular disease,” says Dr Tobias Karakach of the NRC.

Dr Louise Parker, the inaugural Canadian Cancer Society Nova Scotia Division Chair in Population Cancer Research and a Professor at Dalhousie University, is the principal investigator in the Atlantic Path project. She sees this as an initiative that will pay dividends for future Atlantic Canadians.

“This is for the health of our children and grandchildren,” she said. “It’s taking an in depth look at a lot of things we’ve never really considered before as determinants of population health – the collaboration with NRC will support us in this aim.”