Population Health Research Institute
Population Health & Population Genomics

Population Health & Population Genomics
Understanding the role genes play in disease

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The risks of developing common diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes are attributable to the complex combination of factors such as diet, physical activity patterns, other environmental factors, combined with genetic factors.


The Population Genomics Program is a city-wide initiative in which the Population Health Research Institute plays a major role. Epidemiologic studies and clinical trials conducted by the PHRI routinely collect consent for future genetic analysis and a buffy coat (from which DNA is extracted) from all participants in order to facilitate future population genomics evaluations. Currently, DNA or buffy coats have been stored in over 200,000 individuals. Examples of genetic projects underway include the INTERHEART genetic study  funded by HSFO, the EpiDream genetics study funded by CIHR-Industry, FAMILY study, SHARE, SHARE-AP and Molecular SHARE. Their large size, careful measure of environmental factors and ethnic diversity makes this genetics focused program extremely unique.

Key Discoveries

Common SNPs associated with NI and MI risk factors are similar across different ethnic groups but their frequency and population attributable risk varies.








Main Publications

Serre D, Montpetit A, Pare G, Engert J, Yusuf S, Keavney B, Hudson T, Anand S. Correction of population stratification in large multi-ethnic association studies. PloS ONE 2008 2(1):e1382

Burman D, Mente A, R.A Hegele, Islam S, Yusuf S, Anand SS For the SHARE Investigators, Relationship of the APOE pholymorphism to plasma lipid traits among Sounth Asians, Chinese, and Europeans living in Canada. Atherosclerosis 2008.06.007 Epub.
de Koning L, Merchant AT, Hegele RA, Xie C, Vuksan V, Teo K, Yusuf S, and Anand SS. Association of the FABP2 T54 variant with plasma tryglycerides and insulin resistance in a multiethnic population. Clin Chem 54:1749


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