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Genomics research project in Atlantic provinces receives $9.2M in funding


St John’s, NF – The Atlantic Medical Genetics and Genomics Initiative (AMGGI) is receiving a total of $9.2 million in funding from Genome Canada, through Genome Atlantic, Newfoundland’s provincial government and a number of of regional innovation and health research partners.

The initiative is centred at Memorial University (led by Dr Terry-Lynn Young), and Dalhousie University (led by Dr Mark Samuels), in partnership with Genome Atlantic.

A significant component of the research at the institute will focus on the genetic origins of childhood onset genetic disorders. Lynn Sparkes, executive director of the Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation, announced their contribution of $400,000 to the project. This research will lead to improved clinical care and prognostic information for affected families and for those institutions who work with children of these families, including health care and educational providers.

The AMGGI project brings together molecular biologists, clinical researchers, genetic diagnostic laboratories and ethics researchers in a pan-Atlantic effort to identify gene mutations that cause inherited diseases in communities throughout the Atlantic Provinces. Once identified, the genes will be the basis for new genetic tests that can be used in the early diagnosis of the diseases. AMGGI will also contribute to the development of public policy guiding the integration of genetic tests into the health care system.

According to Dr. Armstrong, “Our collective investment in AMGGI will enable the research team to carry out a project large enough in scope to yield a meaningful impact on the research capacity in Atlantic Canada,” says Dr Steven Armstrong, vice president research and business development of Genome Atlantic. “It is well positioned to produce socio-economic impact through innovations in the diagnosis and management of a series of genetic diseases that create challenges for many Atlantic Canadian families and burden our regional the health care system”.