Studying Human Disease at the Molecular Level
Human diseases often begin with small changes within our cells—changes that disrupt normal cellular function. Molecular medicine focuses on understanding how these changes contribute to the development and progression of disease. The goal of molecular medicine is to identify new cellular pathways that can be targeted therapeutically.
Dr. Jason Dyck, Canada Research Chair in Molecular Medicine, is working to unravel the mystery of human disease by studying molecules within cells and defining how they control normal biological functions. He wants to understand how cells generate and use energy to function properly, and how conditions like heart disease and diabetes can alter these functions. By studying the changes in the molecules that control cell metabolism, Dyck and his research team can develop new therapies that have the potential to treat—and even prevent—disease.
One example of this potential is in treating heart disease—the second leading cause of death in Canada. The heart requires a considerable amount of energy to function properly. But in many forms of heart disease, the heart’s ability to use energy efficiently is compromised, leading to poor function. Dyck is studying how changes in the heart’s energy use contribute to heart disease.
By improving the molecular understanding, Dyck’s research will support the development of better treatments for cardiovascular disease and other diseases that affect millions of people around the world.