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Pharmacogenomics centre to be built in Montreal


Montreal, QC – The Universit de Montral has received a donation of $5 million to fund the construction of the Beaulieu-Saucier Pharmacogenomics Centre on Montreal Heart Institute property.

Pharmacogenomics, a branch of drug research, uses a patient’s genetic profile to select appropriate medications and fine-tune drug therapies.

“Pharmacogenomics is expected to be a determining factor in the future of healthcare,” said Luc Vinet, the university’s rector. “By gathering our network of pharmacogenomics experts around leading-edge technological platforms, the UdeM will not only be at the forefront of research in this field but we will also be able to train the very first generation of pharmacogenomics scientists and clinicians in Canada.”

For the donors, alumni Michel Saucier and his wife Gisle Beaulieu, the advancement of scientific research means the advancement of hope. “Since my days in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Universit de Montral, the number of drugs has increased exponentially, but individual receptivity to drugs is still poorly understood and it too often results in undesirable side-effects,” says Mr Saucier. “I have a lot of confidence that advances in pharmacogenomics research that will take place in Canada will contribute significantly to the optimization of the way we use existing and future drugs.”

The centre, which is expected to open officially in the summer of 2007, will accommodate researchers and students working in major fields of pharmacogenomics and genetics, pharmacoproteomics, metabolomics, statistical genetics, pharmacoepidemiology and clinical pharmacology, as well as pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. One of the centre’s priorities will be to create a world-class clinical diagnostic laboratory.

All of the medical disciplines in the university’s clinical network will have access to the pharmacogenomics platform as a tool for their projects.