Research > Genetics

The Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Program of Population Health Research Institute conducts the most cutting-edge genetic techniques to assess whether the promise of personalized medicine can be realized. The team explores the genetic risk of stroke, diabetes, obesity, and the response to some of the most widely prescribed drugs for these diseases. Dr. Guillaume Paré is Director – Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory, Population Health Research Institute.

Developed from the large, international INTERHEART study from which DNA sample analysis led to novel insights into genetic determinants of myocardial infarction, the program grew with genetic data analysis from the Arrhythmia team’s ACTIVE and Acute Coronary Syndrome’s CURE studies which indicated that pharmacogenetic testing had limited utility in identifying who would not benefit from clopidogrel therapy, one of the most widely prescribed antiplatelet drugs – a discovery that offers reassurance to the hundreds of thousands of patients taking this medication that they are likely to benefit irrespective of their genes.

Results from the genetic component of the RE-LY trial showed that 30% of Europeans carry a genetic variant protecting them from bleeding when taking the novel anticoagulant dabigatran. Such findings raise the possibility that genetic information may assist in how we treat patients with specific drugs.