Led by Guillaume Paré, Director of the Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory (GMEL) and Salim Yusuf, Executive Director of PHRI, the Biomarker Discovery Partnership Program was initiated in November 2019 with substantial funds from Bayer, and grants and investments from CIHR and HHSRI.
The program aims to identify novel blood biomarkers to predict coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, kidney diseases and diabetes, and link them to genetic markers using sophisticated analysis conducted in the GMEL. The program will integrate detailed clinical information with advanced laboratory investigations including proteomics (>1,000 proteins per sample), high-throughput genotyping and DNA sequencing, epigenetics and metabolomics.
Using advanced analytic and bioinformatics tools including Mendelian randomization and artificial intelligence, this large effort is expected to identify new mechanisms for the causation of various diseases.
How much genetics, environment and behaviour each play a part in an individual’s health – the long-standing “nature versus nurture” question – has been boosted enormously in recent years with the introduce of ‘omics (collective technologies used to explore roles, relationships and actions of the various types of molecules that make up cells).
PHRI has invested for more than 25 years in creating Canada’s largest research biobank with about 4 million aliquots of blood and urine linked to clinical data. Gui Paré is the Deputy Director of the Clinical Research Laboratory and Biobank (CRLB); Matthew McQueen is the Director of CRLB.