Children can have different types of heart diseases, such as cardiomyopathies, which can be childhood onset or congenital. Congenital heart defects occur in one out of every 100 newborns, but the causes of most forms of congenital heart defects are not known. Today, advances in technology permit us to sequence the entire genome of an individual. This has opened up new opportunities to do large-scale studies to find out which genes cause heart disease in children and adults.
This multi-centre research network has resulted in the establishment of the first Ontario province-wide biorepository and registry of patients with congenital and other forms of heart disease.
Today, this is now one of the biggest childhood heart disease biobank registries in the world, with over 9000 participants!
The network provides a resource to investigators to study the genetic and environmental causes of heart defects and other diseases through the study of DNA, tissue, skin, and blood samples from affected individuals.
The ultimate goal is to develop better ways to diagnose, prevent, and treat disease in children and adults and to improve their overall health and well-being. This exciting initiative, the first of its kind in Ontario, is an example of leveraging our expertise to promote international collaboration and innovation in human disease research.
Seema Mital, MD
Principal Investigator, Heart Centre Biobank Registry