A donation from the heart by Canadian Pacific

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February 25, 2021

Using genetics to better understand COVID-19

The Montreal Heart Institute Foundation is proud to announce a donation of $ 50,000 from Canadian Pacific (CP) as part of its CP Has Heart campaign to acquire a DNA sequencer. This state-of-the-art device will, among other things, optimize the treatment of patients with COVID-19.

The NovaSeq 6000 DNA sequencer is a robotic device that will allow researchers at the Beaulieu-Saucier Pharmacogenomics Center of Université de Montréal at the Montreal Heart Institute, to study the genetics of patients with COVID-19 to better understand the disease and its symptoms.

Precision medicine

Genomic studies such as this one have been made possible thanks to significant technological advances in precision medicine, also called personalized medicine. This revolutionary field allows physicians to treat patients as unique individuals. Using a simple blood test, they can analyze a patient’s DNA, identify their predispositions for developing certain diseases, and optimize their treatments. By enabling researchers to identify the genetic factors that underlie the appearance and evolution of diseases, and then developing more efficient and adapted medication, precision medicine can reduce the costs associated with health care. For instance, it can improve treatments, ensure better use of medical resources, and increase the proportion of healthy individuals.

These kinds of advances in medicine require the use of a cutting-edge robotic device such as the NovaSeq 6000 DNA sequencer which allows researchers to automatically identify the components of a DNA sample and output this data into sequences of letters.

About the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation

Founded in 1977, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation raises and administers funds to support the Institute’s priority and innovative projects and fight cardiovascular diseases, the world’s number one cause of mortality. Its philanthropic events and the contributions of its donors have enabled this leading cardiovascular health care organization to become the largest cardiac research centre in the country. Since its creation, the Foundation has raised more than $309 million in donations. Its 26,032 donors helped make important discoveries and support specialists, professionals and researchers of the Institute to provide care at the cutting edge of technology to tens of thousands of patients in Quebec.

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