Genes are contained in DNA, the blueprint of life that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all living organisms. The role of DNA is to store information about ourselves over a long period of time. Just like a book that contains many chapters and each chapter tells a deeper and deeper story, our DNA is much like a book telling a similar story of ourselves. The segments of our DNA carry our genetic information called genes.
The Heart Centre Biobank has collected DNA (blood, saliva, tissue) to assist in providing the answers to:
- Identifying the genetic causes of disease
- Identifying genes that influence outcomes of disease
- Identifying genes that influence the response to therapy (pharmacogenomics)
- Gene-environment interactions
Environmental factors can cause heart disease and influence outcomes. The Heart Centre Biobank studies environmental factors that cause cause heart disease during an individual’s lifetime and aims to find ways to prevent the damaging effects of the environment on the young heart.
The Heart Centre Biobank collects and banks skin cells. These skin cells can be reprogrammed to form stem cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). These iPS cells can be differentiated to form virtually any cell type in the body! Once these cell types are formed the process of growth can be observed from early life onwards. These cells can be used for:
- Disease modeling
- Drug screening and drug discovery
- Transplantation in the future