Canada Research Chair in Molecular Oncology
Tier 2 - 2003-06-01
Development of a more thorough understanding of the life cycle of Hepatitis C, a viral disease that infects 170 million people worldwide.
Research will lead to new therapeutic strategies and drugs for the treatment of those infected with Hepatitis C.
New Treatments for Hepatitis C
The virus known as Hepatitis C affects 170 million people, or four percent of the world's population, which is nearly five times more than the number of individuals infected by HIV. A chronic Hepatitis C infection can result in cirrhosis of the liver and is the principle cause of liver cancer and the primary reason for liver transplants. New therapies are badly needed to halt the development of advanced stages of disease.
Dr. Arnim Pause, a biochemist specializing in molecular oncology and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Molecular Oncology at McGill University, hopes to find new treatments for Hepatitis C sufferers.
Hepatitis C was first identified in 1989. However, only within the the last few years has its threat as a serious public health problem and disease burden been fully recognized. It is believed that the virus was first spread through blood transfusions and more recently via intravenous drug use and tattooing, as well as other as yet unknown transmission routes.
Dr. Pause and his research group are focusing on various aspects of the Hepatitis C virus. New cell culture technology and protein purification techniques are allowing Dr. Pause to study the viral replication and protein functions of Hepatitis C. The results of this research will lead to a more thorough understanding of the life cycle of the virus and ultimately will give rise to new therapeutic strategies and novel drug products.
The presence of a thriving pharmaceutical industry in Montreal will facilitate the testing of new treatments. Discoveries that are developed and commercialized in Canada will not only benefit the health of Hepatitis C sufferers worldwide but will also help alleviate the pressure on health care systems at home and abroad.