Advancing Personalized Health in Ontario: Ontario is improving the lives and wellbeing of everyday Ontarians with investments in research that will enable a more personalized approach to diagnosing and treating illnesses.
The province’s funding will support genomics research projects that will:
- Help doctors more easily diagnose and treat children suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. Doctors Alain Stintzi, David Mack and their team are developing a simple, cost-effective and non-invasive approach to detecting the disease in children. This work could also lead to new treatments, enhancing the quality of life for children living with inflammatory bowel disease everywhere.
- Improve the way doctors identify and treat rare genetic diseases. Doctors Kym Boycott, Alex MacKenzie and their team will use powerful new gene sequencing to develop earlier and better diagnoses, and more effective treatments for many of these rare diseases caused by gene mutations.
- Provide more effective treatment for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders through earlier diagnosis. Currently, only 20 per cent of cases can be tied to a genetic cause. Doctors Stephen Scherer and Peter Szatmari aim to identify the remaining genetic risk factors associated with this illness.
- Save more lives with earlier detection of esophageal cancer – with funding being provided via the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Chronic heartburn can damage the lining of the esophagus, leading to a condition known as “Barrett’s esophagus.” Doctors Lincoln Stein and Tony Godfrey aim to supplement a new test that can allow for rapid and cost-effective early detection and diagnosis of the condition in a doctor’s office.
Investing in genomics research supports the government’s efforts to improve health care for people of Ontario. This is part of the Ontario government’s economic plan to invest in people, invest in infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.
- Personalized health uses a patient’s own genetic and personal information to customize treatment for the individual. Today’s funding brings Ontario’s support to a total of 12 projects funded since 2011, covering a variety of conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, brain disease and cancer.
- Ontario is supporting the new projects in conjunction with the Ontario Genomics Institute.
- Ontario funding supports personalized medicine research through the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Ontario Brain Institute, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and at universities and research hospitals.
- With half of the country’s life sciences economic activity taking place in Ontario, the province is the largest life sciences hub in Canada.
Ministry of Research and Innovation, October 4, 2013